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Global Fund Applauds Cabo Verde for Eliminating Malaria

12 January 2024

O Fundo Global aplaude Cabo Verde pela eliminação da malária
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Geneva – In a remarkable public health achievement, Cabo Verde was certified malaria-free by the World Health Organization (WHO) today. This certification is granted when a country proves that it has interrupted indigenous transmission of the disease for at least three consecutive years.

“This is an extraordinary accomplishment, a beacon of hope at a time when climate change threatens to slow down our progress in the global fight against malaria,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “What’s now crucial is that we do not lower our guard, and that we help Cabo Verde sustain this achievement and prevent the reintroduction of malaria. With this aim in mind, we will continue to fund vector control interventions and ensure quality case management and disease surveillance for another three years.”

Cabo Verde has not detected any indigenous malaria cases since January 2018. With today’s announcement, a total of 43 countries and one territory have been certified malaria-free by WHO, and all certified countries have prevented the re-establishment of malaria. Cabo Verde is the fourth country in Africa to be certified malaria-free, after Algeria (2019), Morocco (2010) and Mauritius (1973).

Success is driven by strong prevention efforts through provision of vector control and chemoprevention as well as robust, resilient systems for health that ensure access to quality malaria diagnosis and treatment services for everyone. Community health workers are a critical force in the fight to eliminate malaria, particularly in hard-to-reach areas. Political commitment is also crucial to ensure that sufficient resources and effective leadership are sustained until the very end, and – beyond elimination – to prevent the re-establishment of malaria.

Malaria remains a daunting global health challenge. Climate change is fueling its spread, and malaria is adapting to evade prevention and treatment efforts. Through innovation and sustained, targeted investments to support those most at risk for the disease, the Global Fund is fighting back to save lives and make progress on the path toward malaria elimination. In 2022, Global Fund-supported malaria programs recovered from the declines caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

“Malaria has shown that we must stay ahead of it to eliminate it,” said Sands. “Harnessing innovation, testing new products proven to be safe and effective – such as next-generation insecticide-treated nets, insecticides, diagnostics, treatments or vaccines – are essential in this ongoing fight against the disease. At the same time, it is crucial to build the supply chain, human resources for health and disease surveillance systems to support quality service delivery.”

The Global Fund provides 65% of all international financing for malaria programs and has invested more than US$17.9 billion in malaria control programs as of June 2023. These investments are making an impact. In countries where the Global Fund invests, malaria deaths have dropped by 27% between 2002 and 2021. It is estimated that without these interventions, malaria deaths would have increased by 91% over the same period.