Washington, D.C. – The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that El Salvador has been certified as malaria-free.
“Today is a momentous day in the global fight against malaria,” said Nothing But Nets campaign Executive Director Margaret Reilly McDonnell in response to the news. “El Salvador’s hard-fought journey to achieve malaria elimination is a model for countries around the world that are working tirelessly to make malaria a disease of the past.”
El Salvador is the third country in the Americas to be certified as malaria-free in the past four years, following Paraguay’s elimination in June 2018 and Argentina’s in May 2019. Certification of elimination is granted when a country has recorded zero malaria cases transmitted in-country for the past three consecutive years. Belize, Costa Rica, Suriname, Mexico, and Ecuador are all expected to eliminate the disease before 2030.
“El Salvador’s ability to sustain elimination efforts despite interruptions and setbacks caused by COVID-19 is a significant global health achievement,” continued McDonnell. “An achievement that is in no small part thanks to the tireless dedication of the Salvadoran government, frontline health workers, private sector partners, and grassroots activists who helped propel progress against malaria in the Americas.”
United Nations Foundation President and CEO Elizabeth Cousens added her congratulations, saying, “El Salvador’s success against malaria is a testament to the power of collective action and a beacon of hope to countries combatting malaria that elimination is possible. Together, we can rid the world of this deadly disease and deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals’ promise of good health and well-being for all.”
“Now is the time to redouble our efforts, concluded McDonnell. “We know what we need to end malaria – we need renewed political will, increased funding, innovative technologies, and proactive partnerships across sectors. El Salvador’s success should move us all to act with renewed urgency to achieve a malaria-free future for the Americas and the world.”
Over the past five years, Nothing But Nets has been proud to support the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and other UN partners in the Americas region. This work has helped ensure vulnerable individuals, such as pregnant women and children under five, have access to the malaria prevention tools and treatments they need to remain healthy and protected from malaria-transmitting mosquitos.
Nothing But Nets and the UN Foundation remain committed to the ongoing efforts of WHO, PAHO and countries across the Americas region as they sustain the progress made and accelerate efforts to successfully eliminate malaria, and promote health and well-being for all, in the region.
About Nothing But Nets
Nothing But Nets is the world’s largest grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a disease which claims the life of a child every two minutes. Inspired by sports columnist Rick Reilly, hundreds of thousands of people have joined the campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2006. Nothing But Nets has raised over $70 million to help deliver 13 million bed nets to families in need, along with other crucial malaria interventions. In addition to raising funds for its UN partners, Nothing But Nets raises awareness and voices to advocate for critical malaria funding for the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It only costs $10 to help save lives from this deadly disease. Visit www.NothingButNets.net to defeat malaria.
About the United Nations Foundation
The UN Foundation brings together ideas, people, and resources to help the United Nations drive global progress and tackle urgent problems. Our hallmark is to collaborate for lasting change and innovate to address humanity’s greatest challenges. Learn more at www.unfoundation.org