WHO rolls out framework to eliminate malaria during World Malaria Day

The World Health Organization launched a new guide on Friday during World Malaria Day that will provide countries with a framework and guidelines to eliminate malaria.

"Increased political commitment and the expansion of global malaria investments have saved some 3.3 million lives since 2000," WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said. "Countries where malaria remains endemic now want to build on this success."

The guide, titled "From malaria control to malaria elimination: a manual for elimination scenario planning," provides countries with feasibility reports and timelines for malaria elimination based on resources, programs and funding.

Countries will be able to assess current plans and resources, and create long-term plans.

"This long-term view on malaria is critical: it is vital to plan for the period after elimination," WHO Global Malaria Program Director John Reeder said. "If interventions are eased or abandoned, malaria transmission can re-establish relatively quickly in areas that are prone to the disease, leading to a resurgence in infections and deaths."

Seven countries have reduced malaria transmission rates to zero and are in the "prevention of reintroduction phase." WHO classified 19 countries as "pre-elimination or elimination phase."

United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Turkmenistan and Armenia have been classified as malaria-free.

World Malaria Day began in 2007, and works to highlight continued need for investment and political commitment.