January 12, 2024

WHO Declares Cabo Verde Malaria Free

Cabo Verde has officially been declared malaria-free by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the first time in 50 years.

The WHO shared the good news today, Friday 12 January, in a statement via their official website, calling it “a significant achievement in global health”. According to the organisation, for three years the sub-Saharan African nation has not reported a single case of local transmission.

“I salute the government and people of Cabo Verde for their unwavering commitment and resilience in their journey to eliminating malaria,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of WHO.

For the nation – which is made up of an archipelago of 10 islands – this is a major achievement as Cabo Verde has been plagued by severe epidemics and significant malaria challenges.

The disease – which is spread by mosquito bites – killed 580 000 people on the African continent in 2022 alone. For many other countries in the vicinity, it remains a harsh reality. According to the WHO, the continent accounted for approximately 95% of global malaria cases the prior year.

“[This success] is a testimony to what can be achieved through collective commitment to improving public health,” Dr Filomena Gonçalves, Cape Verde’s Health Minister, told an international publication.

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