Emirates News Agency – Malaria elimination: UAE model for infectious disease control locally and internationally

DUBAI, 25th April, 2022 (WAM) — World Malaria Day, which is observed annually on April 25, presents an ideal opportunity to highlight the milestones and achievements of the United Arab Emirates in the fight against malaria.

With this year’s theme “Harnessing innovation to reduce the burden of malaria and save lives”, the annual event aims to raise awareness of this deadly disease, which continues to threaten humanity.

Since 1997, the UAE has not reported any cases of malaria within the country, and in 2007 the UAE was declared officially malaria-free, after years of efforts to control the disease. However, the UAE is still moving forward with plans to develop a malaria control strategy to diagnose and screen imported cases, to provide the latest drugs and free treatment.

The UAE is proud of its sustained efforts to fight malaria, not only locally but also globally, and it has never shied away from providing aid and support to address this global humanitarian issue.

Over the years, the UAE has offered financial support to the “Roll Back Malaria Partnership” as it recognizes its international responsibility and the need to accelerate the pace of the fight against the disease. It has thus provided the necessary investments to develop new tools for the eradication of malaria.

International health organizations have welcomed the support in the fight against malaria, given by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces. Recently, Malaria No More, in partnership with the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi and the Reaching the Last Mile programme, announced the launch of a new global institute whose mission is to fight malaria in the face of climate change and the volatility of weather conditions. In 2020, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed offered a $1.5 million award to Malaria No More to assess the feasibility of climate-informed malaria control strategies through Forecasting Healthy Futures (FHF).

On this occasion, the Ministry of Health and Prevention said that it is following an effective strategy to immunize the community against communicable and infectious diseases by improving the effectiveness of preventive health systems and the epidemiological surveillance program to discover and treat cases imported into the country. .

Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease, and in 2020 it was estimated that there would be 241 million new cases of malaria and 627,000 deaths from the disease in 85 countries. More than two-thirds of deaths were among children under five residing in the WHO African Region.

Rebecca R. Santistevan