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Burma ‘striving’ to be malaria-free by 2030

A child gets tested for malaria at a clinic on the Thai-Burmese border. (PHOTO: Reuters)

The number of malaria cases in Burma has been reduced by 85 percent since 2012, and the country is now aiming to be a malaria-free country by 2030, according to Dr. Aung Thi of the National Malaria Elimination Project.

“Previously, about 600,000 people contracted malaria every year in Burma,” he told an audience yesterday at a malaria prevention campaign in Naypyidaw. “But according to our survey last year, those numbers have dropped remarkably. This year we recorded 110,000 malarial cases. Only two out of every 1,000 people in Burma have suffered from malaria.”

He went on to say they the mortality rate in Burma for malaria patients is 0.04 percent or four deaths out of every 10,000 cases.

“By 2020, some regions, including Naypyidaw, will hopefully be malaria-free zones,” Dr. Aung Thi said, adding, “Burma is striving to be malaria-free by 2030.”

However, he also said that more than 300 townships across the country have been identified as high-risk malaria areas, mostly in Kachin State, Rakhine State and Sagaing Region.

The three regions identified each have significant swathes of tropical rainforest.

The week-long malaria prevention campaign is running in the Burmese capital from 4–8 December.