Algeria, the country where malaria parasite was first discovered in 1880 by French physician Dr Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran, was certified Malaria-free by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday.

This makes it the second nation in the WHO African Region after Mauritius which was declared free of the k****r d*****e in 1973. Worldwide, only 38 countries have been certified for eliminating Malaria.

“Algeria is where the malaria parasite was first discovered in humans almost a century and a half ago, and that was a significant milestone in responding to the d*****e,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Regional Director for Africa.

“Now Algeria has shown the rest of Africa that malaria can be beaten through country leadership, bold action, sound investment and science. The rest of the continent can learn from this experience,” he added.

Algeria’s success in achieving and maintaining zero malaria cases has been attributed primarily to a well-trained health workforce, the provision of malaria diagnosis and treatment through universal health care, and a rapid response to d*****e o*******s.

This comes as another third world country Argentina was also declared Malaria-free.

{ Read: World Malaria Day: Malaria isn’t just any d*****e }

Algeria and Argentina reported their last cases of indigenous malaria in 2013 and 2010 respectively.

WHO grants a certification of malaria-free when a nation  has proven, beyond reasonable doubt, that the chain of indigenous malaria transmission has been interrupted nationwide for at least the previous three consecutive years.

Additionally, the national surveillance system are operational and capable of rapidly detecting and responding to any malaria cases, together with an effective programme to prevent re-establishment of the d*****e.

“Algeria and Argentina have eliminated malaria thanks to the unwavering commitment and perseverance of the people and leaders of both countries,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

“Their success serves as a model for other countries working to end this d*****e once and for all,” said Dr Ghebreyesus.

{ See Also: WHO: New malaria vaccine trial in Malawi marks ‘an innovation milestone’ }

The certificates were presented by the WHO Director-General to representatives from Algeria and Argentina on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly.

Malaria remains one of the world’s leading k*****s, with an estimated 219 million cases and over 400 000 malaria-related d****s in 2017.

Pregnant women and children aged under 5 years are more prone to contract it through the bite of an infected female anopheles mosquito.

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