The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared China malaria-free after 70 years of fighting with it, on Wednesday.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated “we congratulate the people of China on ridding the country of malaria.”
“Their success was hard-earned and came only after decades of targeted and sustained action. With this announcement, China joins the growing number of countries that are showing the world that a malaria-free future is a viable goal”, he further added.
China used to report around 30 million cases per year in the 1940s. Since then, government efforts and initiatives led to a steady decline in cases.
The WHO said China started to distribute medicine to prevent the disease in risk areas decades ago. Mosquito-breeding areas have also been systematically reduced and insect repellents and protective nets have been made widely available.
Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite. The parasite is spread to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes. People who have malaria usually feel very sick with a high fever and shaking chills.