BELMOPAN, Mon. Apr. 26, 2021– Belize joined the world in commemorating World Malaria Day 2021, which is dedicated to raising awareness of the disease. The theme this year is “Maintaining the Zero Malaria Target”.
Belize has made massive strides towards meeting the Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016 – 2030 (GTS). The number of cases of malaria in Belize has plummeted from 10,000 in the 1990’s to zero local cases in the past two years. This places Belize right on track to join El Salvador in being certified malaria-free as early as 2022.
Belize’s National Vector Program includes plans for a continued prioritization of the prevention of malaria. This program includes the mobilization of resources, the education of communities and the strengthening of key preventative methods and care. There are also plans to introduce rapid diagnostic testing for malaria and to improve rural outreach and engage in the distribution of mosquito nets and indoor spraying.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness in Belize continues to coordinate joint efforts with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to bolster the early diagnosis, treatment, surveillance and monitoring of malaria. The country had received significant funding back in 2014 through the “Elimination of Malaria in Mesoamerica and the Island of Hispaniola” (EMMIE) program of the Global Fund. At the end of this program, Belize and other Central American countries received support through a cumulative investment of $83.6 million by the Inter-American Development Bank and other partners that supported countries that were on the verge of eliminating malaria.