Certification process

Last update: 20 April 2016

Certification of malaria elimination is the official recognition of malaria-free status granted by WHO. Certification confirms to the international community that the country, at that point in time, has halted local transmission by Anopheles mosquitoes, and that it has created an adequate system for preventing its re-establishment. Certification of malaria elimination is granted for a country as a whole and for all four human malaria species. For malaria-endemic countries, elimination may benefit not only the resident population but also areas such as tourism and investment.

The burden of proof of elimination falls on the country requesting certification. A defensible, plausible argument must be made that all the available evidence has been evaluated and has been found to be consistent with the assertion that malaria elimination has been achieved. High-quality surveillance systems capable of detecting local transmission if it were occurring as well as a locally appropriate programme to prevent its re-establishment also have to be operational.

The final decision on granting certification is made by the WHO Director-General. Countries are expected to continue reporting on an annual basis to WHO on the maintenance of the malaria-free status.

The certification process is described in Malaria elimination: a field manual for low and moderate endemic countries (2007) and in the Weekly Epidemiological Record (18 July 2014).

Official register of malaria-free countries

Since the early 1960s, WHO has maintained an official Register of areas where malaria elimination has been achieved. In all, 34 countries and territories have been certified and entered in the WHO official register as having eliminated malaria with specific measures. The most recent additions are the United Arab Emirates (2007), Morocco (2010), Turkmenistan (2010), Armenia (2011) and Maldives (2015).

A full overview is available in the World Malaria Report 2012, which also contains an overview of the Supplementary list to the official register of 61 countries where malaria never existed or disappeared without specific measures, and where full WHO certification of malaria elimination would not be needed.

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