Su­ri­na­me in top 3 for suc­ces­sful fight against ma­la­ria

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

Su­ri­na­me re­cent­ly re­cei­ved a pla­que of ap­pre­ci­a­ti­on for its ef­forts against ma­la­ria. Su­ri­na­me along with Costa Ri­ca and El Sal­va­dor is one of the three win­ners of the Ma­la­ria Cham­pi­ons award, pre­sen­ted by the Pan Ame­ri­can He­alth Or­ga­ni­za­ti­on (PAHO) to ce­le­bra­te Ma­la­ria Day of the Ame­ri­cas, No­vem­ber 6. Ad­van­ces in the­se coun­tries, “as­sert fur­ther our be­lief that we can ef­fec­ti­ve­ly eli­mi­na­te ma­la­ria in se­ve­r­al are­as (in the re­gi­on) in the co­ming ye­ars,” said Fran­cis­co Be­cer­ra, as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of PAHO, the re­gi­o­nal of­fi­ce for the Ame­ri­cas of the World He­alth Or­ga­ni­za­ti­on (WHO).

Costa Ri­ca has achie­ved a 100% de­crea­se in ma­la­ria ca­ses sin­ce 2000. For its part, El Sal­va­dor has achie­ved a re­duc­ti­on of 98.9% in ca­ses sin­ce 2000, and has re­por­ted no de­a­ths sin­ce 1998. In 2014, the coun­try re­cor­ded on­ly eight con­fir­med ca­ses of ma­la­ria, two of which we­re im­por­ted. In Su­ri­na­me, ma­la­ria has been vir­tu­al­ly eli­mi­na­ted in the in­land vil­la­ges which pre­vious­ly had the hig­hest ra­tes of trans­mis­si­on of the Ame­ri­cas, and ha­ve been re­du­ced to less than 90 in­di­ge­nous ca­ses each year. In 2014 and 2015, the coun­try re­cor­ded no de­a­ths from the di­sea­se. The­se ad­van­ces we­re achie­ved through high­ly pro­ac­ti­ve and in­no­va­ti­ve in­ter­ven­ti­ons fo­cu­sed pri­ma­ri­ly in the are­as and po­pu­la­ti­ons at risk, such as ir­re­gu­lar mi­ning ope­ra­ti­ons. The coun­try im­pro­ved ac­cess to dia­gno­sis and tre­at­ment in are­as of dif­fi­cult ac­cess, cre­a­ted a ma­la­ria cli­nic in the ca­pi­tal and ge­ne­ra­ted pu­blic-pri­va­te part­ner­ships to stop the di­sea­se. All win­ners re­cei­ved a pla­que of ap­pre­ci­a­ti­on. The pri­zes ha­ve been awar­ded for the past eight ye­ars.

It is not the first ti­me that the PAHO and the WHO ha­ve shown re­cog­ni­ti­on for Su­ri­na­me’s suc­ces­sful fight against ma­la­ria. In 2010 Su­ri­na­me’s na­ti­o­nal Ma­la­ria Board at the He­alth Mi­ni­stry won the award for its con­tri­bu­ti­on to achie­ve a drop in the num­ber of ma­la­ria in­fec­ti­ons in the hin­ter­land. The drop in the num­ber of ca­ses me­ant that Su­ri­na­me had al­rea­dy achie­ved its Mil­len­ni­um De­vel­op­ment Go­al for ma­la­ria in 2007. Su­ri­na­me wants to era­di­ca­te ma­la­ria com­ple­te­ly. It has al­most achie­ved this go­al. The ma­la­ria that is still pre­sent in Su­ri­na­me ori­gi­na­tes from the re­mo­te gold mi­ning are­as. Tra­ve­lers from neigh­bo­ring coun­tries al­so keep im­por­ting ma­la­ria which is why the­re is al­ways the risk of rein­tro­du­cing ma­la­ria in are­as whe­re the pa­ra­si­te had al­rea­dy been era­di­ca­ted. Su­ri­na­me’s He­alth Mi­ni­stry gets sup­port from the Glo­bal Fund and the In­ter-Ame­ri­can De­vel­op­ment Bank in or­der to reach its goals.

End ma­la­ria for good is the the­me of Ma­la­ria Day in the Ame­ri­cas 2016, held on No­vem­ber 6. It re­fers to the pos­si­bi­li­ty that the world can end the di­sea­se by 2030. This day was cre­a­ted ten ye­ars ago to pro­mo­te ac­ti­ons against ma­la­ria in the re­gi­on, in­clu­ding the Ma­la­ria Cham­pi­ons Award. In the past eight ye­ars 21 ini­ti­a­ti­ves from ten coun­tries in the con­ti­nent ha­ve re­cei­ved awards, and sha­red best prac­ti­ces and ex­pe­rien­ces in com­ba­ting the di­sea­se.

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