A senior World Health Organization (WHO) official congratulated China on Wednesday for getting malaria-free certification from WHO, saying it is encouraging for mission towards the goal of a malaria-free world.
In a video message, Dr. Ren Minghui, assistant director-general for Universal Health Coverage/Communicable and Noncommunicable Diseases of WHO, delivered his congratulations to China.
"This hard-earned success is a result of tireless efforts made by Chinese scientists, Professor Tu Youyou for example, and the public health professionals and community health workers on the way to achieve this very important milestone," Ren said, referring to Chinese Nobel Prize winner Tu Youyou who led the discovery of the malaria drug artemisinin in the 1970s, one of the most effective antimalarial drugs nowadays.
"This is also a demonstration of strong political commitment and strengthening national health systems over decades by Chinese government, which are critical to eliminating a disease that was a major public health problem in the country," the WHO official continued. "I'm sure the Chinese achievement will encourage more malaria-endemic countries to step in, towards a global vision of a malaria-free world."
The WHO on Wednesday officially granted China a malaria-free certification as a token of celebration of the country's successful elimination of the disease after 70 years of its struggles against malaria.
China's efforts against malaria started in the 1950s, as the disease was rampant in the southern part of the country. From 30 million malaria cases in the 1940s, China brought down that number over the last decades, to finally achieve no cases in the last four years, the WHO said.