Certification process

Last update: 5 September 2016

Certification of malaria elimination is the official recognition by WHO of a country’s malaria-free status. WHO grants this certification when a country has proven, beyond reasonable doubt, that the chain of local malaria transmission by Anopheles mosquitoes has been interrupted nationwide for at least three consecutive years.

The burden of proof falls on the country requesting certification. A national surveillance system capable of rapidly detecting and responding to local malaria transmission (if it were occurring) must be operational, together with an appropriate programme to prevent its re-establishment. The final decision on granting a certification of malaria elimination rests with the WHO Director-General.

Certification of malaria elimination is managed by the WHO Global Malaria Programme and involves field assessments and rounds of expert reviews. This process is voluntary and can be initiated only after a country has submitted an official request to WHO.

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, 33 countries and territories have been certified and entered in the WHO official register as having eliminated malaria through specific measures. The most recent additions are the United Arab Emirates (2007), Morocco (2010), Turkmenistan (2010) Armenia (2011). The Maldives and Sri Lanka were certified by WHO as malaria-free in 2015 and 2016 respectively but they have not been added to the WHO official register as of yet. Two countries recently started this certification process: Argentina and Kyrgyzstan.

WHO also maintains a Supplementary list to the official register, which includes countries where malaria never existed or disappeared decades ago, and where full WHO certification of malaria elimination is not needed. The most recent Supplementary list was published in the World Malaria Report 2012 and included 62 countries.

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