BY PATIENCE IVIE IHEJIRIKA, Abuja and ROYAL IBE, Lagos
Ahead of World Malaria Day 2021, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched a new initiative to halt ma-laria transmission in 25 more countries by 2025.
The countries selected are countries with the potential to eliminate malaria within the next five years.
They include South Africa, Eswatini, Botswana, Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe, Cabo Verde,Mexico, Guatema-la, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Suriname, Belize, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Nepal, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Vanuatu and Timor-Leste.
According to the WHO E-2020 Initiative report, each of these countries has set a goal for malaria elimination by 2025 backed by a government-endorsed elimination plan and this is considered the minimum requirement to demonstrate that a country is committed to ending the disease within the next five-year time frame.
The report said each of the countries has met a defined threshold of malaria case reductions in recent years, suggesting that they have the ability to be malaria-free by 2025.