The World Health Organization announced Argentina’s new malaria-free certification at a pivotal moment in the fight against malaria
Washington, D.C. – (May 22, 2019) Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) certified Argentina as malaria-free at a pivotal moment in the fight against malaria. According to WHO’s most recent malaria report, malaria deaths and cases have been reduced in recent decades, but that progress has now stalled. Argentina is an example that malaria can be ended when given resources and prioritization.
Argentina is the second country in the Americas to be certified as malaria-free in the past two years, following Paraguay’s elimination last June. A certification of elimination is granted when a country has recorded zero malaria cases transmitted in-country for the past three consecutive years.
Although malaria still claims the life of a child every two minutes, malaria elimination in the Americas is within reach. El Salvador, Belize, Costa Rica, Suriname, Mexico, and Ecuador are following close behind, and are expected to eliminate the disease before 2030. Between 1969 and 1973, seven countries and territories of the Americas were certified malaria-free.
United Nations Foundation President and CEO Kathy Calvin congratulated Argentina on this accomplishment and urged other countries and sectors to continue stepping up the fight against malaria as an essential part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’ promise to promote healthy lives for everyone, everywhere.
The UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign is the largest grassroots organization dedicated to supporting UN and partner efforts to end malaria. Nothing But Nets supporters have raised more than $70 million and sent 13 million bed nets. Calvin said:
“Argentina’s success against malaria should be an inspiration to countries around the world. The lesson is clear: When we take action to improve lives, progress happens. Thanks to health care workers, governments, private sector partners, community members, and UN agencies, fewer people are now at risk of this disease.
“Argentina’s elimination is another step forward in the fight for global equity and good health and well-being for all. Moreover, Argentina’s success extends beyond its borders, impacting other countries close to elimination. By learning from the success of Paraguay and Argentina, the Americas region has the opportunity to achieve malaria elimination by 2030. Now is the time for the global community to provide the resources and attention that is needed to protect the progress we’ve made and build on it, so we can put an end to malaria.”
Margaret Reilly McDonnell, Executive Director of Nothing But Nets added:
“The success Argentina has had in the fight against malaria is incredible. The country’s malaria-free certification serves as a beacon of hope to other countries and signals that we can end malaria in our generation.
“Now is the time to step up the fight against malaria. If we continue the progress that has been achieved over the past 20 years, we will be able to defeat this disease for good. We know what needs to be done to end malaria: We need continued political will, increased funding, innovative technologies, and proactive action.
“Nothing But Nets provides malaria prevention tools and treatments to those most vulnerable to malaria – particularly pregnant women, children, refugees, and internally displaced populations. The campaign expanded its work into Latin America and the Caribbean in 2017 so fewer families in the region have to fear a deadly mosquito bite, and we’ll continue until no child, mother, or father is at risk. Argentina’s elimination goes to prove that a malaria-free world is possible!”
Paige Whipple Glidden
Senior Associate, Communications & Digital Media, Nothing But Nets
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation acts as a strategic partner to help the United Nations mobilize the ideas, people, and resources it needs to drive global progress and tackle urgent challenges. We focus on issues at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals, build initiatives across sectors to solve problems at scale, and engage citizens who seek action. Founded in 1998 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner, the UN Foundation works with philanthropic, corporate, government, and individual partners. Learn more at: www.unfoundation.org.
About Nothing But Nets
Nothing But Nets is the world’s largest grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a disease which claims the life of a child every two minutes. Inspired by sports columnist Rick Reilly, hundreds of thousands of people have joined the campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2006. Nothing But Nets has raised over $70 million to help deliver 13 million bed nets to families in need, along with other crucial malaria interventions. In addition to raising funds for its UN partners, Nothing But Nets raises awareness and voices to advocate for critical malaria funding for the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It only costs $10 to help save lives from this deadly disease. Visit www.NothingButNets.net to defeat malaria.