The declining of malaria prevalence in the country by 90% demonstrates the vigorous efforts undertaken in the past 20 years of independence to control deaths caused by this disease, stated the Director of the National Malaria Control Program, Dr. Tewolde Gebremeskel.
He told Eritrean News Agency (ERINA) that the disease mostly prevails in 109 countries of the world in general and the Sub-Saharan African countries in particular. Dr. Tewolde explained that though malaria is seen in limited areas and seasons in Eritrea, it has been the main cause of illness and death for a long time. In this connection, the Ministry of Health drafted a 5-year strategy in 1999 to control and reduce death rates caused by this disease in collaboration with partners, he added.
According to a study conducted in 2004, Dr. Tewolde indicated that illnesses and death rates caused by malaria have dropped by 86% and 85% respectively. “Even though the implementation of the plans outlined seemed challenging, impressive achievements that astonished the world were registered,” he said.
The director general also disclosed that malaria was further reduced by 90% in 2009 and that malaria epidemic was not witnessed in Eritrea from the year 1999 onwards. He further called on the public at large to reinforce their contribution to preserve the achievements registered in previous years.
Dr. Tewolde said that Eritrea has won acclaim from the world and Africa, and that the Ministry of Health drafted a third 5-year strategy aimed at eliminating malaria from the country.