Pan American Health Organization celebrates Malaria Day in the Americas 2016

On November 6 2016, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) will celebrate World Malaria Day in the Americas. This event is intended to increase advocacy, commitment, and engagement among key stakeholders, as well as encourage communities in the region to take action to support malaria elimination.

World Malaria Day in the Americas 2016 will highlight the need for increased emphasis on advocacy and communications strategies, which were identified as key issues in PAHO’s recently approved Plan of Action for Malaria Elimination 2016-2020. To increase visibility and awareness of malaria in the Americas and generate advocacy and support from policy makers, partners, and the public, PAHO released key messages for 2016 which can be found in Malaria Day in the Americas 2016: Guidelines for Commemoration, Communications, and Advocacy.

During an event on November 3rd in Washington DC, PAHO celebrated Malaria Day in the Americas by recognizing three Malaria Champions: Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Suriname. These countries have been awarded the distinction of Malaria Champion 2016 for their significant progress in reducing malaria transmission and sustained efforts to support elimination. Costa Rica has maintained zero local cases since 2013 by mobilizing its national health system to fight malaria and sustaining domestic financing to support elimination and prevention of reintroduction. In El Salvador, strong surveillance and robust domestic financing driven down cases by 98.9 percent since 2000. In Suriname, the establishment of various public-private partnerships has contributed to a 97 percent drop in malaria hospital admissions between 2003 and 2015. By implementing innovative strategies to fight malaria, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Suriname have become regional leaders in malaria elimination.