WHO recognizes Azerbaijan as malaria-free country


Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 13

By Samir Ali – Trend:

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 41 percent of the world's population lives at risk of contracting malaria, which has become the most common disease among vector-borne parasitic diseases, Trend reports referring to the Azerbaijani Ministry of Health.

Every year, an average of 300-500 million people in 100 countries become infected with this disease, leading to the deaths of 1.5-2.7 million people during the year.

The known events of late 1980 - early 1990s, when the socio-political situation in Azerbaijan worsened, lead to an influx of over a million refugees and internally displaced persons and chaotic migration, due to which malaria spread over 80 percent of the territory of the country.

A National Epidemiological Communications Program was developed in accordance with the WHO’s recommendations. As a result of the successful implementation of this program, the spread of the epidemic was suppressed, and its incidence rate began to fall year by year.

Targeted anti-epidemiological measures paved the way to the eradication of malaria in Azerbaijan. As such, not a single fact of infection has been recorded since 2013.

Countries that have eliminated malaria are contacting WHO to obtain a certificate. The certification process of a malaria-free country is causing a national and international response. From an economic point of view, this directly affects the development of tourism, business, student exchange and other areas.

Considering the above, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Health contacted WHO to certify the elimination of malaria and received a positive opinion. The preparatory process has already been initiated.

A Certification Committee has been created from the staff of the relevant government agencies in order to prepare for the certification process and productive cooperation with the International Certification Commission. The committee’s first meeting was held on Sept. 13, 2019.

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