Shrinking the Malaria Map

UCSF Global Health Group’s Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI)



Although there is no region wide goal, Mesoamerica and Hispaniola have a goal to eliminate malaria by 2020.


The Americas have made remarkable progress in reducing malaria in the past two decades, and are often predicted to be the next malaria-free region in the world. In the 10 malaria-eliminating countries in this region, cases have declined by 91% since 2000. In South America, both Argentina and Paraguay have initiated the WHO malaria-free certification process. Central America is making remarkable progress, too. While the burden remains highest in the island of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti), new support from donors, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, is helping the region accelerate towards elimination by 2020.

Further strengthening these efforts, health ministers from across the America’s adopted a new strategy for malaria elimination in 2016. The Plan of Action for Malaria Elimination 2016-2020, approved by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), encourages countries in the region to intensify efforts to eliminate and prevent reintroduction. The Plan has set targets of reducing malaria cases by an additional 40%, implementing elimination efforts in 18 of the 21 endemic countries in the region, and attaining malaria-free status in at least four countries. With this new strategy, efforts to fight malaria will have a particular focus on high –risk geographies, such as the Amazonian basin, and vulnerable populations, including miners, migrants, and laborers. These efforts are sure to help the region reach its elimination goal.  

Malaria-free >3 years
Malaria-free < 3 years
Eliminating malaria
Controlling malaria
Eliminating countries in this region
Reported malaria cases in 10 malaria-eliminating countries in the Americas
Reported malaria cases in 10 malaria-eliminating countries in the Americas
P falciparum transmission limit (2010)
P falciparum transmission limit (2010)
P vivax transmission limit (2010)
P vivax transmission limit (2010)

Regional collaborations

Elimination of Malaria in Mesoamerica and Island of Hispaniola

The Elimination of Malaria in Mesoamerica and Island of Hispaniola (EMMIE) regional grant is funded by the Global Fund and is aimed at accelerating malaria elimination in nine countries: Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The $10-million, 3-year EMMIE grant uses an innovative cash-on-delivery funding mechanism that focuses on paying the participating countries for a successful predefined reduction in malaria cases. The EMMIE grant supports the goal of malaria elimination in Mesoamerica by 2020.

Amazon Malaria Initiative

The Amazon Malaria Initiative (AMI) supports countries in the Amazon basin and Central America to prevent and control malaria through regional collaboration. Countries share evidence-based best practices and technical assistance on issues of common concern. The AMI was launched in 2001 with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), based on the notion that malaria transcends international borders. In conjunction with the Amazon Network for the Surveillance of Antimalarial Drug Resistance and several other partners, AMI works with a regional network of countries and technical partners to strengthen prevention; diagnosis; antimalarial medicine quality, efficacy, access, and use; surveillance systems; vector surveillance and control; and communication. 

Malaria Zero

Malaria Zero is an alliance of partners working to eliminate malaria from the island of Hispaniola – including Dominican Republic and Haiti - by 2020. Led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Malaria Zero partners coordinate efforts to build and implement an evidence-based action plan. Beyond the initial funding provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, an additional $80 to $100 million is needed for island-wide implementation. Elimination of malaria from Hispaniola will demonstrate the feasibility of the approach and inspire other countries in the Americas to accelerate their elimination efforts.

Challenges to elimination