Hundreds of thousands die of malaria every year, China was once a hotspot for the infectious disease. Now the World Health Organization has good news.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared malaria in China to be defeated. “We congratulate the people in China on freeing the country from malaria,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday. China is joining “a growing number of countries that are showing the world that a malaria-free future is a viable goal.”
This was preceded by a 70-year campaign to combat the disease. In the 1940s, around 30 million malaria cases were registered in China each year. There has not been a single registered new infection in the country in the past four years.
The WHO announced last April that it wanted to eradicate the deadly infectious disease in 25 countries by 2025. According to WHO estimates, almost 230 million people fall ill with the mosquito-borne disease every year. Around 400,000 people die from it each year, most of the victims – more than 265,000 – are young children. Africa is particularly hard hit with over 90 percent of deaths.