WHO’s E-2025 initiative

The World Health Organisation recently identified twenty-five countries with the potential to eradicate malaria by 2025. This is called the E-2025 initiative.

What is the plan?

The identified 25 countries will work by responding to the dual threat of malaria and COVID-19. The WHO is to provide technical guidance and specialised support to these countries under the initiative.

Three of the identified countries were from Africa namely Eswatini, Botswana and South Africa.

Malaria in Africa

  • Africa shares 94% of global malaria death burden. The recent evidence has shown drug resistant mutations in Africa.
  • South Africa is the hotspot of COVID-19 in Africa. Malaria has increased by 44% in the country between 2019 and 2020 due to COVID-19. This is mainly because vaccination drives could not be conducted due to lock down.
  • In Botswana, Malaria has increased by five times. This was mainly because of reverse migration that occurred from urban to rural due to lock down.

Background

The World Health Organisation launched the E-2020 initiative in 2017. The E-2020 aimed to support a group of countries to achieve zero indigenous cases of malaria by 2020. However, certain countries are yet to achieve this target. Thus, they were identified under the E-2025 initiative and new plan is to be launched.

How were the countries selected?

The countries were selected based on four criteria. They were as follows:

  • Establishment of Government-endorsed elimination plan
  • The country should have met the threshold of malaria case reductions in recent years
  • The country should have the capacity of malaria surveillance
  • It should have been selected by the WHO Malaria Elimination Oversight Committee

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