China certified malaria-free by WHO

According to the National Health Commission, the WHO on June 30 awarded China a malaria-free certification, meaning another major infectious disease has been eliminated in China after smallpox, polio, filariasis, and neonatal tetanus.

Malaria elimination is a major public health operation launched by China in accordance with international standards and in line with China’s specific conditions, which has ended the history of malaria in China which has lasted thousands of years, and is a significant milestone in the history of public health in China and the global history of malaria elimination.

Malaria once was one of the longest-lasting, broadly influential, and harmful infectious diseases in China. Before the founding of New China, there were annually 30 million people infected with malaria, 30,000 of whom died and the mortality reached 1%. After the founding of New China, this country experienced five stages including focused investigation and prevention (1949-1959), control of severe epidemic (1960-1979), reducing morbidity (1980-1999), consolidating the results of containment (2000-2009), and malaria elimination (2010-2020). In 2010, the Chinese government actively responded to the UN global malaria eradication initiative and set a goal of eliminating malaria by 2020.

After tireless efforts, China has reduced the number of local primary cases of malaria from 30 million to 0 annually and preserved the people's health and life safety; established scientific and accurate malaria prevention and control strategies, and a sensitive and efficient reporting, testing, treatment, monitoring and emergency response system, and is now capable of preventing imported malaria cases from spreading; developed specific medicines such as Artemisinin and therapeutic schedules, and innovated the "1-3-7" working protocol of eliminating malaria: completing the report of malaria cases in 1 day, completing case review and epidemiological survey in 3 days, and finishing investigation and disposal of epidemic locations in 7 days. China has accumulated Chinese experience in cross-sector, cross-region joint prevention and control, and cooperation in prevention and control in border areas, contributing Chinese wisdom to global malaria control and elimination.

In April 2016, China reported the last local primary case of malaria; after 2017, no local primary case has detected for 4 consecutive years; in November 2011, China applied for the certification of malaria elimination. After WHO on-site assessment, China passed WHO verification and demonstrated the national image as a responsible country that fulfills international obligations and commitments.

The original article is contributed by Jin Zhenya, translated by Fei Jinglun.

[ Editor: WXY ]