WHO certifies Cape Verde as a malaria-free country, becomes third African nation

WHO certifies Cape Verde as a malaria-free country, becomes third African nation

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared Cape Verde as a malaria-free country. This achievement puts Cape Verde in a select group of 43 countries and 1 territory that have received this certification from the WHO.

Cape Verde is the third country in the WHO African region to achieve this status, following Mauritius and Algeria, which were certified in 1973 and 2019, respectively.

The WHO grants official certification when a country provides strong evidence that indigenous malaria transmission by Anopheles mosquitoes has been interrupted nationwide for at least the past three consecutive years. Additionally, the country must demonstrate the ability to prevent the re-establishment of transmission.

The African continent bears the highest burden of malaria in the world, accounting for approximately 95% of global malaria cases and 96% of related deaths as of 2021.

The WHO certification is expected to have significant positive effects on Cape Verde’s development, including the ability to combat other mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever and boost socio-economic activities. Tourism, which contributes about 25% to the country’s GDP, stands to benefit from this certification.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of WHO, praised the government and people of Cape Verde for their commitment and resilience. He expressed optimism about the possibility of a malaria-free world with the use of existing tools and new advancements, including vaccines.

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