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World Malaria Day 2014 celebrated in Afghanistan

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World_Malaria_Day_2014To mark World Malaria Day (25 April), WHO has published a manual to help malaria-endemic countries to assess the feasibility of moving towards elimination From malaria control to malaria elimination: a manual for elimination scenario planningWorld Malaria Day was celebrated on 27 April 2014 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The theme of this year's day was: "Invest in the future. Defeat malaria."

Deputy Minister of Public Health H.E. Dr Ahmad Jan Naeem highlighted the progress in malaria control in Afghanistan by a 98% reduction in falciparum and 86% reduction in vivax malaria case since 2002. He cited some of the significant achievements of the national control programme in 2013 as:

  • house-to-house free distribution of 359 000 bednets (LLINs) in malaria high-risk (stratum 1 and 2) districts
  • training of more than 10 000 community health workers on diagnosis, treatment and prevention of malaria
  • distribution of more than 224 000 rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and 8000 doses of malaria medicine (ACT) to community health workers in malaria high-risk districts to ensure the universal coverage with malaria diagnosis and treatment through community-based management of malaria
  • information, education and communication activities through mass media (radio and TV), health forums with community leaders, Mula imams, womens' council, school teachers and students to improve the public awareness regarding malaria control and prevention

Dr Ismail Tharwat (WHO Afghanistan) addressed the global, regional and country progresses toward malaria control and elimination, emphasized the ongoing WHO technical and operational support to the national programme in implementation of the malaria control and elimination strategy in the country.

WHO key messages

  • WHO recommends and supports malaria-endemic countries, including Afghanistan, in efforts to achieve universal coverage with diagnostic testing and antimalarial treatment, as well as strengthening their malaria surveillance system. 
  • The issue of mosquito resistance to insecticides and parasite resistance to anti-malarials is crucial and of global concern for malaria control and elimination.
  • Sustained political commitment and global investment is essential to achieve the goal of malaria control and elimination.

At the end of the ceremony, the Deputy Minister of Public Health signed an aide memoire of the malaria programme performance review conducted at the end of 2013 and is including the main findings of the review for further improvement of the malaria control and elimination programme in Afghanistan.

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Malaria control and elimination programme

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Key health-related statistics

Population (m) 29.7
Health expenditure (% of GDP) 9.5
Adult (15+) literacy rate (%) 34.8
Life expectancy at birth F/M (2010) 63.2-63.6

Sources: Central Statistics office, Afghanistan National health Accounts, Afghanistan Living Conditions Survey, Afghanistan mortality survey. 

Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

Afghanistan country health profile

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WHO Afghanistan Programme Overview 

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