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Cape Verde Attains Malaria-Free Status, Third African Nation to Achieve This Milestone

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Cape Verde Attains Malaria-Free Status, Third African Nation to Achieve This Milestone

Cape Verde Marks Triumph in Eradicating Malaria

Cape Verde has recently made history by becoming the third nation in Africa and the 44th across the globe to eradicate malaria. This noteworthy accomplishment is a testament to the country’s unyielding dedication and resilience in combating the mosquito-borne illness.

In 2022, Africa accounted for 94% of the 249 million malaria instances worldwide and 95% of the fatalities associated with the illness. Cape Verde, which frequently faced severe malaria outbreaks across its 10 islands, has effectively restricted malaria to only two islands, Santiago and Boa Vista, both of which have not registered any instances since 2017.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged Cape Verde’s “lengthy journey” to eradication, which included initiatives such as costless treatment and testing for all new arrivals, methodical surveillance of mosquito breeding sites, and continuous endeavors to combat other mosquito-borne sicknesses like dengue fever. WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised Cape Verde for its achievement, expressing optimism for a malaria-free world through the utilization of current and new resources, including vaccines.

Despite this triumph, global malaria instances remain elevated, with about 608,000 fatalities reported in 2022, primarily among children and expectant women. The pandemic has further aggravated the situation, resulting in an estimated 63,000 malaria fatalities due to interruptions in healthcare services between 2019 and 2021.

In the battle against malaria, two vaccines have been authorized to aid in combating the illness. The R21/Matrix-M vaccine, recommended for widespread application by the WHO last year, and the RTS,S vaccine, endorsed by the agency in 2021, are being introduced in 12 African nations over the next two years.

Cape Verde’s Prime Minister, Ulisses Correia e Silva, underscored the importance of the country’s accomplishment, affirming that the certification as a malaria-free nation has a favorable impact on its external image, particularly in tourism. The Prime Minister also emphasized the acknowledgment of Cape Verde’s health system’s achievements.

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