Ministry of Health highlights Statistics on the occasion of Malaria Day in the Americas Print
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Thursday, 08 November 2012 00:00

Belmopan, November 6, 2012.

The Ministry of Health joins the international community on the occasion of World Malaria Day 2012. Countries in the region observe Malaria Day in the Americas annually on November 6th. This year, it is being celebrated under the theme - “Test. Treat. Track. - Scaling up Diagnostic Testing, Treatment, and Surveillance for Malaria.”

The World Health Organization estimates that Malaria transmission still occurs in 99 countries – killing an estimated 655,000 people every year – mainly children under five years of age. Belize has made significant progress in the control of Malaria over the past years, having reduced the incidence from 540 cases in 2008 to 79 cases in 2011. This year, the Ministry is on track for another successful year, having reduced the number of cases to 33 in 9 communities, a drastic reduction from 2011 in which 27 communities were producing cases. Migrant populations, case detection, and treatment compliance are among the greatest challenges that not only affect control efforts, but threaten re-emergence in many communities across Belize.

The Ministry continues to take an integrated approach to Malaria control in order to reduce cases. Health education remains at the forefront while complementing other efforts such as indoor  residual spraying, distribution of long lasting insecticide treated bed nets, and engaging in community based efforts to control and eliminate mosquito breeding sites.

World Malaria Day is an effort by the global malaria community to highlight the reported successes and the remaining challenges in malaria control today, and to maximize the impact of substantial investments for this preventable and treatable disease. We encourage the community to work with the Ministry to continue the hard works towards the elimination of this potentially deadly disease.