The World Health Organization (WHO) has certified Belize as free of malaria.
The WHO said the Central American nation had “achieved a dramatic reduction” in malaria cases, down from 10,000 in 1994 to zero indigenous cases in 2019.
It said Belize’s achievement would serve as an inspiration for other countries in the Americas, where malaria is endemic.
Malaria, spread to humans by some types of mosquitoes, can be lethal.
The WHO said that Belize had kept the fight against malaria at the forefront of its public health agenda,
It praised the country for distributing mosquito nets treated with insecticide and encouraging the spraying of insecticides indoors.
The organisation also said that trained community health workers had “played a vital role in timely diagnosis and treatment” of malaria.
The WHO certifies a nation as malaria-free when it has shown “with rigorous, credible evidence” that the there has been no transmission of malaria within the country for at least three consecutive years.
Belize is the third country in the world to be certified this year so far, after Azerbaijan and Tajikistan.
Source : BBC