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Regional Countries advanced towards elimination of Malaria

Malaria control programs in Brazil, Paraguay and Suriname have received the Malaria Champions of the Americas award, which given out each year by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and its partners to initiatives that contribute to eliminating the disease in the region. Suriname’s Malaria program focuses on migrant miners and indigenous communities. The initiative has created local capacities and has led to improvements in diagnosis, treatment and vector control.  The Malaria Control program in Brazil implemented a series of strategies that led to greater access to diagnosis and treatment, the use of mosquito nets and a 44% reduction in cases of malaria between 2016 and 2017. The local program managed to reduce cases of the disease by 70% since 2015 in a hard-to-access area, where 70,000 people live in 13 villages along river banks. The National Malaria Control Program in Paraguay provided universal access to malaria diagnosis and treatment. In June 2018, Paraguay became the first country in the Region of the Americas in 45 years to obtain official WHO certification for having eliminated malaria.  Malaria remains endemic in 20 countries of the Americas. Argentina is in the process of certifying elimination, and according to the WHO, six other countries (Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico and Suriname) reduced the incidence of autochthonous cases and have the potential to eliminate the disease by 2020.