Yesterday, the twelfth edition of Malaria Day in the Americas was held, a platform for the countries of the region to carry out a dynamic campaign against malaria, a disease that in the last century was the main cause of death in almost all the nations of the world. That is why the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) urged the countries of the region to take urgent measures to stop the increase in cases, maintain the achievements and rid the continent of this deadly disease. Paraguay is currently the first country to Malaria free America, officially recognized in June of this year by the World Health Organization (WHO). By the year of 1973, Cuba had achieved that achievement. Now Argentina is on track to obtain certification in 2019. Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico and Suriname make up the list of the 21 countries in the world that will eliminate malaria by 2020. Although other nations recorded an increase in the number of cases, which threatens the achievement of the goals of reduction of cases and the corresponding elimination of the disease in the region by 2030. The director of the PAHO, Carissa F. Etienne, affirmed that the elimination of malaria is today more closer than ever, but believes that 'we can not trust or relax the actions, control efforts should be redoubled where the incidence has rebounded', he said. Malaria is endemic in 20 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, one less than in 2017 after the elimination in Paraguay. Since 2015, malaria cases in the region increased 71%. 95% of the total was concentrated in five countries, mainly in specific areas where efforts against the disease have been weakened. Many of those affected are indigenous populations, people living in situations of vulnerability and mobile populations such as miners and migrants. If we want to eliminate malaria, we need more investments and expand access to prevention, diagnosis and timely treatment of the disease in the communities that concentrate most of the cases, "said Marcos Espinal, director of the Department of Communicable Diseases and Environmental Determinants of Health of PAHO. The Day of Malaria in the Americas was instituted by the Member States of PAHO in the Council Director of 2008 and is an occasion to highlight the need to invest in the prevention and control of the disease in the Americas. It is estimated that the regional efforts coordinated by PAHO and its partners have saved hundreds of lives by reducing death rates by 30% between 2000 and 2017..


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