WHO certifies Azerbaijan and Tajikistan as malaria-free

29 Mar 2023

The World Health Organization (WHO) has certified Azerbaijan and Tajikistan for achieving elimination of malaria in their territories. The certification follows a sustained, century-long effort to stamp out the disease by the two countries.

“The people and governments of Azerbaijan and Tajikistan have worked long and hard to eliminate malaria,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Their accomplishment is further proof that, with the right resources and political commitment, eliminating malaria is possible. I hope that other countries can learn from their experience.”

Certification of malaria elimination is the official recognition by WHO of a country’s malaria-free status. The certification is granted when a country has shown – with rigorous, credible evidence – that the chain of indigenous malaria transmission by Anopheles mosquitoes has been interrupted nationwide for at least the past three consecutive years.  A country must also demonstrate the capacity to prevent the re-establishment of transmission. 

“Azerbaijan’s and Tajikistan’s achievement was possible thanks to sustained investment and the dedication of the health workforce, together with targeted prevention, early detection and treatment of all malaria cases. The WHO European Region is now two steps closer to becoming the first region in the world to be fully malaria-free,” said Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe.

Azerbaijan detected its last case of locally transmitted Plasmodium vivax (P.vivax) malaria in 2012 and Tajikistan in 2014. With today’s announcement, a total of 41 countries and 1 territory have been certified as malaria-free by WHO, including 21 countries in the European Region. Read more