China goes malaria-free with a multi-pronged health strategy


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 The  world Health Organization (WHO) declared that China is “malaria-free”.


  • The “malaria-free” certification from the WHO, followed a visit in May 2021 from an independent panel to verify China’s malaria-free status.
  • The WHO stated that China is that the first country in the Western Pacific region to be declared malaria-free in more than 30 years, following Australia in 1981, Singapore in 1982 and Brunei in 1987.

Requirement for the Certification:

  • It requires four consecutive years of reporting no local cases.

Key Highlight of the world Malaria Report 2020:

  • The number of malaria cases worldwide in 2019 was around 229 million.
  • Around 409,000 lives were lost to the mosquito-borne disease.  
  • The majority of cases were reported in Africa, while India and Southeast Asia recorded a big drop.
  • Cases in India fell from approximately 20 million to six million.
  • India is that the only highly endemic country that has reported a decline of 17.6% in 2019 as compared to 2018.  
  • The Annual Parasitic Incidence (API) reduced by 18.4% in 2019 as compared to 2018.
  • India has also contributed to the largest drop by cases region-wide, from approximately 20 million to about 6 million.  
  • The percentage drop in the malaria cases was 71.8% and deaths were 73.9% between 2000 to 2019.
  • India achieved a reduction of 83.34% in malaria morbidity and 92% in malaria mortality between the years 2000 and 2019, thereby achieving Goal 6 of the Millennium Development Goals - 50-75% decrease just in case incidence between 2000 and 2019.

The reasons behind this success of China:

  • A strong political commitment and strengthening national health systems.
  • The effort began in the early 1950s, with a multi-pronged approach of providing anti-malarial medicines while targeting mosquito breeding grounds and using insecticide spraying.
  • A national effort called ‘the 523 Project’ was launched in 1967 involving quite 500 scientists from 60 institutes;
  • Leading to the invention of artemisinin within the 1970s,  
  • Artemisinin: it's the core compound of artemisinin-based combination therapies, the foremost effective antimalarial drug available today.
  • In the 1980s, China began using insecticide-treated nets widely, distributing 2.4 million nets by 1988.
  • WHO credited China’s public health system offering freed from charge diagnosis and treatment of malaria in bringing down cases to zero.

1-3-7 Strategy:

Overview of 1-3-7 Malaria Elimination Approach | Download Scientific Diagram

It refers to a:  

  • One-day deadline to report a malaria diagnosis,  
  • Confirming a case and determining the spread by the third day, and  
  • Measures are taken to prevent the spread by the seventh day, along side continued surveillance in high-risk areas.

Concerns persist:

Imported cases, particularly from Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, which share a border with the southwestern Yunnan . 


The World malaria report:

  • It is published annually by WHO providing a comprehensive update on global and regional malaria data and trends.  
  • The report tracks investments in malaria programmes and research also as progress across all intervention areas:  
  1. Prevention,  
  2. Diagnosis,  
  3. Treatment and  
  4. Surveillance.  
  • The report is predicated on information received from national malaria control programmes and other partners in endemic countries.
  • About malaria:

Caused by: Plasmodium parasites.

  • Four sorts of malaria parasites infect humans: Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae.  
  • Zoonotic malaria: additionally , P. knowlesi, a kind of malaria that naturally infects macaques in Southeast Asia , also infects humans, causing malaria that's transmitted from animal to human.
  • Spread by: Female Anopheles mosquitoes, called "malaria vectors"
  • World Malaria Day: Observed on 25th April per annum . It are often noted that WHO officially endorses disease-specific global awareness days for less than four diseases viz. HIV-AIDS, TB, Malaria, and Hepatitis.
  • Status in India: States of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya and Madhya Pradesh disproportionately accounted for nearly 70.54 percent of falciparum Malaria cases in 2019 and 63.64% of malaria deaths were also reported from these states.

Malaria Elimination efforts in India:

  • National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME): Efforts were initiated within the country in 2015 and were intensified after the launch of NFME in 2016 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.  
  • National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination (2017-22): it had been launched by the Health Ministry in 2017 which laid down strategies for subsequent five years.
  • Distribution of Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs): About 5 crores are distributed in 7 North-East States, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha by the govt of India.
  • Global malaria strategy (2016 -2020): The strategy sets the target of reducing global malaria incidence and mortality rates by a minimum of 90% by 2030.
  • High Burden to High Impact (HBHI) initiative: it's a country-led approach supported by WHO in 11 high malaria burden countries, including India. it'll help in achieving the targets of the worldwide malaria strategy.




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