News - 2015

Honduras Aims for Malaria Elimination

20 March 2015

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras - Honduras and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have strengthened their partnership with the signing of a new grant to intensify efforts to eliminate malaria.

The financial resources provided through the Global Fund, a 21st century partnership, come from many funders, represented today by the United States and Japan. The agreement is aligned with a regional initiative that aims to eliminate malaria in Central America and the Caribbean with the support of many partners, including the Pan American Health Organization, the regional office of the World Health Organization, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ISGlobal and others.

Honduras, represented at the signing ceremony on Thursday by Minister of Health Yolany Batres, is committed to reducing malaria cases by 45 percent and to have zero new cases of the deadliest strain of malaria by 2017.

The grant is for US$9.2 million and will fund distribution of insecticide-treated nets and indoor spraying, increased testing, early diagnosis and treatment, as well as surveillance activities on the border with Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala.

The programs will focus on key populations with a greater epidemiological vulnerability to malaria, including women and children under 5, indigenous peoples, groups of African descent and migrants.

The Pan American Health Organization was closely involved in providing technical assistance on malaria in the review of the National Strategic Plan and in the development of the grant application.

Honduras has made significant progress in reducing the transmission of malaria over the last decade thanks to the successful implementation of projects with a strong involvement of local communities. By 2011, malaria cases dropped 78 percent compared to 2000.

However, the disease remains a threat in the northeastern department of Gracias a Dios, where more than 80 percent of all P. falciparum cases are reported.

Honduras was one of the signatory countries of the Declaration for the Elimination of Malaria in Mesoamerica and Hispaniola, a regional initiative supported by the Global Fund partnership that also includes Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The Inter-American Development Bank is among partners who helped develop the concept note.

"Strong partnerships bring effective investments," said Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund. "Thanks to our collective work, elimination is becoming more and more a reality in all Latin America."

The grant will be administered by Cooperative Housing Foundation, Honduras.