Thailand Aims to Eradicate Malaria by 2024

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Thailand is one of 8 new countries which have been recently identified by WHO as having the potential to eliminate malaria by 2024. In 1949, malaria was the leading cause of mortality in Thailand, resulting in 38 046 deaths a year. Despite resurgences of multidrug-resistant malaria over the decades, Thailand only recorded 13 deaths in 2019. Its success in bringing down cases of indigenous malaria – that is, the transmission of malaria within its own territory – has been notable, so much so that the country recently verified 37 provinces as malaria-free. Thailand is striving to be malaria-free by 2024, with authorities urging people to take part in online World Malaria Day 2022 activities.
According to Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) observes World Malaria Day every year on April 25 to highlight the commitment of global communities to controlling and eradicating malaria. This year’s World Malaria Day will be observed under the theme “Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives,” aligning with the government’s policy of eradicating malaria by 2024.
Dr. Opas said Thailand has made progress in controlling and preventing the disease as a result of the National Malaria Elimination Strategy 2017–2026. Innovative developments, such as the integration of diagnosis and disease carrier control, have led to successful results. From 2017 to 2021, the number of malaria patients in the nation plummeted by 72%, while only 731 cases have been reported since the beginning of this year.
Meanwhile, Dr. Chantana Padungtod, director of the DDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD), invites the public to take part in an online event on the DVBD Facebook page to commemorate World Malaria Day 2022. Online activities and seminars to raise awareness will be streamed to viewers beginning at 10 AM on April 25. For more information, people can contact the DDC’s hotline by calling 1422.

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