WHO / ALGERIA ARGENTINA MALARIA FREE

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23-May-2019 00:01:49
Algeria and Argentina have been officially recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as malaria-free. The certification is granted when a country proves that it has interrupted indigenous transmission of the disease for at least three consecutive years. WHO

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STORY: WHO / ALGERIA ARGENTINA MALARIA FREE
TRT: 2:45
SOURCE: WHO
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / FRENCH / NATS

DATELINE: 18 MAY 2019 AND 21-22 MAY 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

22 MAY 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, Tedros, Dr Moeti entering the room
2. Wide shot, panellists

18 MAY 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

3. SOUNDBITE (English) Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa:
“The country has done this through consistent application of the tools for malaria prevention and control, through good surveillance, through good investment and also through having established a primary health care system that has gone a long way toward universal health coverage.”

22 MAY 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

4. Wide shot, Miriam Burgos, Under-Secretary for Prevention and Control of Communicable and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, Ministry of Health, Argentina speaking

18 MAY 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

5. SOUNDBITE (English) Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa:
“This will encourage - and I’m certain inspire - the rest of the continent because we note that there is much still to be done in the African continent and in the region to get on top of the malaria programme.”

22 MAY 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

6. Various shots, Algeria Ministry of Health Official receives malaria elimination certificate from Tedros and shakes hands
7. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Miriam Burgos, Under-Secretary for Prevention and Control of Communicable and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, Ministry of Health, Argentina:
“WHO has given us their support in every moment and with their experience we would not have accomplish this. Like a country we have obtained the certification and we celebrate this and by lowering our arms, we will continue to support them and we know their challenges.”
8. Med shot, Algeria delegation
9. SOUNDBITE (French) Mohamed Miraoui, Minister of Health and Population and Hospital Reform, Algeria:
“These are the efforts that we’ve made since independence, 1962. They are based on efforts by health professionals who have integrated and adhered to the recommendations from the World Health Organization.”
10. Various shots, conference room

STORYLINE:

Algeria and Argentina have been officially recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as malaria-free. The certification is granted when a country proves that it has interrupted indigenous transmission of the disease for at least three consecutive years.

Algeria is the second country in the WHO African Region to be officially recognized as malaria-free, after Mauritius, which was certified in 1973. Argentina is the second country in the WHO Region of the Americas to be certified in 45 years, after Paraguay in June 2018.

SOUNDBITE (English)Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa:
“The country has done this through consistent application of the tools for malaria prevention and control, through good surveillance, through good investment and also through having established a primary health care system that has gone a long way toward universal health coverage.”

Algeria and Argentina reported their last cases of indigenous malaria in 2013 and 2010 respectively.

SOUNDBITE (English) Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa:
“This will encourage - and I’m certain inspire - the rest of the continent because we note that there is much still to be done in the African continent and in the region to get on top of the malaria programme.”

For both Algeria and Argentina, malaria has a history that spans hundreds of years, and the battle against the disease has been hard-fought. Over the last decade, improved surveillance allowed for every last case of malaria to be rapidly identified and treated. Importantly, both countries provided free diagnosis and treatment within their borders, ensuring no one was left behind in getting the services they needed to prevent, detect and cure the disease.

Contracted through the bite of an infected mosquito, malaria remains one of the world’s leading killers, with an estimated 219 million cases and over 400 000 malaria-related deaths in 2017. Approximately 60 per cent of fatalities are among children aged under 5 years.

French physician Dr Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran discovered the malaria parasite in Algeria in 1880. By the 1960s, malaria had become the country’s primary health challenge, with an estimated 80,000 cases reported each year.

Algeria’s subsequent success in beating the disease can be attributed primarily to a well-trained health workforce, the provision of malaria diagnosis and treatment through universal health care, and a rapid response to disease outbreaks. Together, these factors enabled the country to reach – and maintain – zero malaria cases.

SOUNDBITE (French) Mohamed Miraoui, Minister of Health and Population and Hospital Reform, Algeria:
“These are the efforts that we’ve made since independence, 1962. They are based on efforts by health professionals who have integrated and adhered to the recommendations from the World Health Organization.”

In the 1970s, Argentina set out to eliminate malaria. Key elements of its approach included training health workers to spray homes with insecticides, diagnosing the disease through microscopy, and effectively responding to cases in the community.

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Miriam Burgos, Under-Secretary for Prevention and Control of Communicable and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, Ministry of Health, Argentina:
“WHO has given us their support in every moment and with their experience we would not have accomplish this. Like a country we have obtained the certification and we celebrate this and by lowering our arms, we will continue to support them and we know their challenges.”

Cross-border collaboration was also critical. Between 2000 and 2011, Argentina worked closely with the Government of Bolivia to spray more than 22 000 homes in border areas and conduct widespread malaria testing.

The certificates were presented by the WHO Director-General to representatives from Algeria and Argentina on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly.
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