Certification of malaria elimination is the official recognition of malaria-free status granted by WHO. Certification requires proving beyond reasonable doubt that the chain of local malaria transmission by Anopheles mosquitoes has been fully interrupted in the entire country for at least three consecutive years. Certification of malaria elimination is granted for a country as a whole and for all four human malaria species.
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, and that high-quality surveillance systems are in place that would be capable of detecting local transmission if it were occurring.
Certification of malaria elimination is based on an assessment of the current situation and the likelihood that malaria-free status can be maintained. Countries are expected to continue reporting on an annual basis to WHO on the maintenance of this status. The WHO certification process is described in detail in Malaria elimination: a field manual for low and moderate endemic countries (2007).
In recent years, four countries have been certified by WHO as having eliminated malaria: the United Arab Emirates (2007), Morocco (2010), Turkmenistan (2010), and Armenia (2011). WHO recommends maintaining locally appropriate malaria control programmes to prevent a re-emergence of the disease.
Official register of malaria-free countries
Since the early 1960s, WHO has maintained an official Register of areas where malaria elimination has been achieved. WHO also maintains a Supplementary list to the official register, listing countries where malaria never existed or disappeared years or decades ago, and where full WHO certification of malaria elimination would not be needed. WHO published the first supplementary list in 1963 including 23 countries. The most recent list was published in the World Malaria Report 2012 and included 62 countries.
Last update: 6 March 2013