Malaria in Sri Lanka has been dramatically reduced over the past decade. Cases have declined 99.9%, from approximately 265,000 cases in 1999 to just 124 local cases in 2011, according to the Global Health Group (GHG) from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Anopheles gambiae mosquito Image/CDC
Anopheles gambiae mosquito

Now, Dr. Richard Feachem, Director of GHG of the University of California San Francisco and the Chair of the Malaria Elimination Group (MEG) congratulated the Sri Lankan government after it was determined that the country has not seen a autochthonous case of malaria since Oct. 2012.

“Two years without malaria cases is a huge achievement,” Dr. Feachem told President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week in Colombo. Eligibility for World Health Organization (WHO) malaria free certification will occur next year if all remains the same.

According to WHO, certification of malaria elimination is the official recognition of the achievement of malaria elimination in a specific country.

It is granted by the WHO when it has been proved, beyond reasonable doubt, that the chain of local malaria transmission by Anopheles mosquitoes has been fully interrupted throughout the country for at least 3 consecutive years.

Sri Lanka is the first country in Asia to reach the goal in decades when Singapore and Maldives did so in the early 1980s. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page