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Belize Close to Eliminating Malaria

Malaria is a vector-borne disease that has been affecting mankind for thousands of years. For us here in Belize, we are close to eliminating the disease than any other Central American country. Trio Village and Silk Grass are the only two places in Belize where the disease still exists. Elimination of Malaria falls under goal number three of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development. Dr. Guillermo Mendoza, PAHO, WHO Representative in Belize explains.

Dr. Guillermo Mendoza

“Elimination of Malaria is included in goal number three which is related to health and well being and malaria is one of the targets of the goal number three. Now let me highlight this, to eliminate malaria we need the participation of everybody, everybody has a role to play in the elimination of malaria. Eliminating malaria is not the sole responsibility of the health sector, we need other sectors to be involved but also we need the community, we need the community to help us in being aware first of the existence of the disease, helping us in taking the measures to prevent being bitten by mosquitos, go to seek medical services if they feel sick.”

Malaria may have similar symptoms to other vector-borne diseases and persons are encouraged to seek medical attention in order to be diagnosed properly. Dr. Job Joseph of PAHO spoke of the importance of doing so.

Dr. Job Joseph

“We cannot just rely on symptoms and say this or this so that is why when you feel sick you go to see a doctor they will probably get a sample, its a blood sample to find out which disease you have.If you say you have a fever it can be malaria or Zika, that is why we cannot rely on symptoms. I think you have to see your doctor first.”