Abu Dhabi [UAE], April 24: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has joined the global community in observing World Malaria Day on April 25, a day that marks the 16th anniversary of the UAE being declared malaria-free by the World Health Organisation in 2007.
The Ministry has reiterated the UAE’s commitment to helping reduce worldwide malaria incidence by 90 per cent before 2030, in line with this year’s “Harness Innovation to Reduce the Malaria Disease Burden and Save Lives” theme.
MoHAP emphasised that the UAE continue to make every effort to combat malaria through the implementation of preventative measures that prioritise the protection of the community’s health. The nation was among the first in the Eastern Mediterranean region to be declared free of the disease, solidifying its commitment to maintaining a healthy environment for its citizens.
MoHAP said that several international health organisations have lauded President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his unwavering support to global efforts aimed at combating malaria. His Highness has supported the ” Malaria No More ” and “Reaching the Last Mile” initiatives, which are part of the country’s broader humanitarian initiatives to promote health programmes and therapeutics. The UAE has also consistently demonstrated its commitment to supporting global health initiatives, including the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and the “Roll Back Malaria Partnership” programme.
The Ministry said that the UAE will continue to promote global health through partnerships with leading institutions, working together to make a meaningful impact on communities around the world. These collaborations enable the launch of impactful initiatives that make a tangible difference in the lives of individuals and families, advancing progress towards a healthier and more sustainable future.
MoHAP has clarified that its response to malaria is based on an effective strategy that involves collaborating with health authorities to prevent the importation of malaria into the country. This strategy also includes implementing a highly efficient epidemiological surveillance programme, which is in accordance with Federal Law No. (14) of 2014 Concerning the Prevention of Communicable Diseases and the International Health Regulations. The Ministry also works on investigating and controlling insects and cooperates with neighbouring countries in this field to ensure comprehensive control of the disease.
The Ministry has restated its dedication to upholding the nation’s malaria-free status by strictly executing the post-declaration plan. This plan involves finishing the refurbishment and instruction of specialised personnel, as well as reinforcing measures to combat the mosquitoes that transmit the disease.
Malaria is a life-threatening illness caused by parasites that are transmitted to humans by infected female Anopheles mosquitoes’ bites. Although it can be prevented and treated, it remains a significant global health issue.
In 2021, an estimated 247 million malaria cases occurred worldwide. To tackle this problem, the WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 lays out ambitious and realistic global objectives, such as decreasing malaria incidence by 90% and eradicating the disease in 35 nations by 2030.