In News: The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified 25 countries, including three from Africa, with the potential to eradicate malaria by 2025 under its ‘E-2025 Initiative’, ahead of World Malaria Day 2021.
What is the E-2020 initiative?
- The countries were part of the World Health Organization’s E-2020 campaign, which began in 2016 and is operating in 21 countries across five regions to eliminate malaria by 2020.
- The World Health Assembly adopted a new Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 in May 2015, setting ambitious targets to significantly reduce the global malaria burden over the next 15 years, with benchmarks to monitor progress along the way.
- Malaria removal in at least 10 countries that had the disease in 2015 is a crucial achievement for 2020.
- Countries must register zero indigenous cases by 2020 to achieve this target.
According to an analysis published by the World Health Organization in 2016, 21 countries have the ability to eradicate malaria by 2020. They were chosen based on an overview of the probability of being eliminated based on three main criteria:
- Malaria case incidence patterns from 2000 to 2014;
- Malaria targets have been set by affected countries; and
- Experts in the field from the World Health Organization (WHO).
These 21 malaria-free countries are part of the E-2020 programme, which is funded by WHO and other partners and aims to eradicate malaria in an ambitious but technically feasible time frame.
Malaria and India’s Worries
- Malaria, which is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito, is also one of the world’s leading causes of death.
- In 2017, it was responsible for an estimated 219 million cases in 87 countries, as well as over 400,000 deaths.
- About 60% of deaths occurred in children under the age of five, accounting for 266,000 deaths worldwide.
- India (4%) was one of the five countries (the others being Nigeria (25%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (11%), Mozambique (5%), and Uganda (4%), which together accounted for nearly half of all malaria cases worldwide.
- Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, and the United Republic of Tanzania were among the 11 African countries that recorded roughly 70% of all malaria cases (151 million) and deaths (274,000).
- According to the survey, only India made progress in reducing malaria cases in 2017 (a 24% reduction in cases compared to 2016).