Which Central America Country is Malaria Free

Belize awarded malaria-free certification
Malaria cases 2023
U.S. Dept of State Belize map June 2023
Belize (Precision Vaccinations News)

The World Health Organization (WHO) today announced Belize had been certified as malaria-free, joining over ten countries in the Region of the Americas.

This WHO certification is granted when a country has shown with rigorous, credible evidence that the chain of indigenous malaria transmission by Anopheles mosquitoes has been interrupted nationwide for at least the past three consecutive years.

Over the last three decades, Belize has dramatically reduced its malaria burden, from a peak of about 10,000 cases in 1994 to zero indigenous cases in 2019.

“The WHO congratulates the people and government of Belize and their network of global and local partners for this achievement,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, in a press release on June 21, 2023.

“Belize is another example of how, with the right tools and approach, we can dream of a malaria-free future.”

With today’s announcement, Belize is the third country to be awarded a malaria-free status in 2023, following the certifications of Azerbaijan and Tajikistan.

A total of 42 countries and one territory have been certified malaria-free by the WHO.

Belize is located on the northeastern coast of Central America, bordered by Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and Guatemala.

In 2015, Belize reoriented its malaria program to focus more on enhanced surveillance among high-risk populations, allowing for strategic targeting of interventions and available resources in priority areas.

Belize maintained malaria surveillance efforts during the recent global pandemic.

Belize has participated in regional and subregional initiatives to keep malaria at the forefront of their public health agenda, such as Elimination of Malaria in Mesoamerica and the Island of Hispaniola, financially supported by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Regional Malaria Elimination Initiative, an initiative established by the Inter-American Development Bank with technical leadership from PAHO and the participation of the Council of Health Ministers of Central America.

Further south in South America, Costa Rica has been battling malaria outbreaks for years.

As of June 8, 2023, the Huetar Norte Region reports a total of 131 malaria cases in 2023.

As of June 21, 2023, malaria vaccines have been deployed in Africa and are unavailable in Central America.

From a security perspective, the Embassy of the United States of America serves as the focal point for the U.S. Mission and is the primary federal agency leading foreign relations in Belize on behalf of the U.S. Government. In addition to the various sections of the Embassy, there are also other U.S. Government agencies working in Belize.

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