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Thursday December 1 2022

WHO is to certify Azerbaijan as “malaria-free” country

4 October 2022 11:31 (UTC+04:00)
WHO is to certify Azerbaijan as “malaria-free” country

By Sabina Mammadli

Azerbaijan is expected to be certified by the World Health Organization as a “malaria-free” country.

The discussion was held at the Azerbaijani Health Ministry and took place within the framework of the WHO Assessment Mission’s working visit to Azerbaijan, which will last from October 3 to 14.

Welcoming the guests, Azerbaijani Health Minister Teymur Musayev stressed that the country attaches great importance to cooperation with the World Health Organization. According to him, Azerbaijan has been closely cooperating with the organization since 1992, and this cooperation is developing steadily.

Speaking at the event, the minister noted the work carried out in Azerbaijan to prevent malaria and eliminate its source.

“For many years, Azerbaijan has carried out large-scale measures to prevent malaria and eliminate its root. As a result of these efforts, local transmission of malaria has been interrupted since 2013,” the official noted.

Musayev recalled that as a result of the deterioration of the socio-political situation in the republic in connection with the well-known events in the early 90s of the last century, the chaotic migration of more than 1 million refugees and internally displaced persons, malaria spread on a large scale and covered 80 percent of the country's territory.

“In connection with the epidemiological situation, according to the recommendations of the WHO, a National Program was developed. As a result of the successful implementation of this program, the spread of the disease was prevented, and the incidence of diseases was significantly reduced,” he added.

Further, he stressed that the elimination of malaria in Azerbaijan was achieved through strengthening the national healthcare system, and coordinated work of all structures of the Health Ministry together with other ministries, departments, and organizations of the republic.

“Success in the fight against malaria was also made possible thanks to the long-term comprehensive support of partners, the leading place among which is occupied by the World Health Organization,” Musayev finalized.

In turn, a member of the WHO Assessment Mission, Keith Carter noted Azerbaijan's invaluable contribution to eliminating malaria in the region and maintaining its free status.

It was noted that in September 2021, the leadership of the Azerbaijani Health Ministry sent an official letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus with a request to confirm the country's malaria-free status. In this regard, in May of this year, the WHO conducted a pre-certification mission to Azerbaijan, consisting of WHO malaria specialists. In addition, in June 2022, the Azerbaijani Health Ministry presented the “National Report on Malaria Elimination in the Republic of Azerbaijan” with a package of required documents to the WHO Global Program for Malaria Control.

As a result of the two-week work of the WHO Assessment Mission with individual components of the malaria surveillance system and based on the results of the work done, Azerbaijan is expected to be certified by the World Health Organization as a “malaria-free” country.

The delegation also consisted of members of the Technical Advisory Independent Group for Malaria Elimination Certification (TAG-MEC). WHO representative for Azerbaijan Hande Harmanji also attended the meeting.

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