Friday, June 21, 2024

Belize Certified Malaria-Free with IDB Support

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After three years without autochthonous cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) has certified Belize as malaria-free. This major achievement is the result of years of hard work and collaboration between the government of Belize and the Regional Malaria Elimination Initiative (RMEI), supported by the IDB, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), donors and other technical partners.

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by a parasite that is spread from human to human by some types of mosquitoes. It is mainly found in tropical countries, and the disease is preventable and curable. Infants, children under five years, pregnant women, travelers, and people with HIV / AIDS are at higher risk of severe infection.

RMEI is a public-private alliance administered by the IDB and financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Fund, the Carlos Slim Foundation, and nine countries of Mesoamerica.

Although there have been no reports of imported, introduced, or autochthonous cases in Belize since 2019 and no reports of relapsed or induced malaria cases since 2013, continued surveillance and cross-border collaboration are essential to maintaining this malaria-free status.

The Minister of Health and Wellness of Belize, Mr. Kevin Bernard, said: “Our biggest success is the fact that we are now malaria free. For our country, it is a great achievement. We pledge our commitment to ensure technical support and continuous financial resources to remain malaria free”.

“The elimination of malaria in Belize is a significant milestone towards healthier countries and communities in Mesoamerica and beyond,” said Rocío Medina Bolivar, Country Representative of the IDB Group in Belize. “I congratulate Belize on this great achievement and reaffirm our commitment to working together with the Government of Belize to tackle other health challenges and attain Belize’s development goals,” she added.

The IDB, as a member of the RMEI Partnership Committee, supported this elimination effort and remains committed to working with its partners to eliminate malaria throughout Mesoamerica, a way of improving lives in the region.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region. Take our virtual tour.

About the Regional Malaria Elimination Initiative

The Regional Malaria Elimination Initiative (RMEI) is a public private alliance administered by the IDB and financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Fund, the Carlos Slim Foundation, and nine countries in the region. The work is coordinated with the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the Council of Ministers of Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA), the Mesoamerica Project, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI).

RMEI is implemented through a results-based financing model. The approach is to strengthen Diagnosis, Treatment, Investigation, and Response (DTI-R), as well as to improve epidemiological surveillance systems to detect new cases and treat them in a timely manner. These actions follow the technical recommendations made by PAHO and WHO.

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