WHO: Algeria, Argentina Free of Deadly Malaria

Algeria where the malaria parasite was first discovered in humans become the third African country to eliminate one of the world’s leading killer disease.

The World Health Organization (WHO)’s regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said Algeria – the nation where malaria was discovered – is officially free of malaria, making it the third African country to eliminate one of the world’s leading killer diseases.

With no recorded cases of malaria in three consecutive years, Argentina was also declared malaria-free – the second country in the Americas after Paraguay in 45 years to wipe out the disease, which kills more than 400,000 people a year.

“Malaria parasite was first discovered in humans almost a century and a half ago in Algeria, and that was a significant milestone in responding to the disease.” 

Moeti in his statement added that “Now Algeria has shown the rest of Africa that malaria can be beaten through country leadership, bold action, sound investment and science. The rest of the continent can learn from this experience.”

Although WHO has declared 38 countries malaria-free since 1955, the fight against malaria has stalled as malaria-carrying mosquitoes have become resistant to drugs and insecticides in bednets that protect people from being bitten while sleeping.