Algeria And Argentina Are Now Malaria-Free

"Their success serves as a model for other countries working to end this disease once and for all."

The World Health Organization announced that Algeria and Argentina are now malaria-free.

It's a landmark announcement for two nations that have historically fought hard to control the mosquito-borne illness. WHO said 38 countries and territories across the globe have successfully eradicated malaria, which kills some 400,000 people worldwide. Especially notable was Algeria, given that it's on a continent that struggles with malaria more than any other.

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"Algeria has shown the rest of Africa that malaria can be beaten through country leadership, bold action, sound investment and science. The rest of the continent can learn from this experience," Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO's regional director for Africa, told CNN.

Algeria is only the second African country to be declared malaria-free. It takes three straight years without a new case of malaria for Argentina and Algeria to be declared malaria-free. Algeria's last reported case of indigenous malaria was 2013 and Argentina's last reported case was 2010. 

Last month, WHO said it was pushing forward a new initiative to vaccine close to 400,000 children for malaria. The vaccine will prevent malaria in four of 10 cases, the WHO said. But Algeria's success came before the vaccine was widely available, mostly thanks to universal healthcare treatment and well-trained health workforce, according to WHO.

"Algeria and Argentina have eliminated malaria thanks to the unwavering commitment and perseverance of the people and leaders of both countries," WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press release. "Their success serves as a model for other countries working to end this disease once and for all."

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