Now is the time to end malaria in Haiti and the Dominican Republic

Media Contact:
Pierce Nelson
404.523.3509
pnelson@cdcfoundation.org

Atlanta, GA, April 25, 2016 - As we mark World Malaria Day on April 25, Malaria Zero partners reaffirm our commitment to helping end malaria for good by eliminating the disease from Hispaniola, which includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic, by 2020.

The Malaria Zero Alliance includes the Ministry of Public Health and Population of Haiti, the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance of the Dominican Republic and others who are working in support of the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination in Haiti.

The majority of Hispaniola’s malaria cases occur in Haiti, where there were about 17,700 confirmed cases in 2014. In addition to causing sickness and death, the continuous transmission of malaria in Haiti exacts a toll on its health system and economy, and impedes the economic development of Hispaniola as a whole.

We must act now to capitalize on a unique window of opportunity to eliminate malaria from the island—before resistance to chloroquine or insecticides develop. Acting now will deliver significant savings to the governments of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as well as the international community, as the disease will be much more challenging and expensive to eliminate should resistance develop. In addition, investing in the near-term will result in long-term savings for the countries once elimination is achieved.

Malaria Zero partners are preparing to launch a household survey in Haiti to identify specific geographic areas with high malaria transmission to implement the elimination strategies. Plans will include innovative interventions such as targeted and geographic focal mass drug administration to rapidly clear all stages of the malaria parasite and prevent onward transmission. Malaria Zero’s work will enhance surveillance systems and laboratory capacity for malaria elimination in Haiti, which may also enhance the identification, tracking and management of other serious febrile diseases, including chikungunya and zika virus.

Evidence generated from Malaria Zero’s efforts will have an impact beyond Hispaniola—contributing to global knowledge on effective malaria elimination strategies, particularly in similar transmission settings.

On this World Malaria Day, the CDC Foundation calls for additional investment to support this ambitious yet attainable goal, which will create a malaria-free zone across the Caribbean and help bring the world one step closer to global malaria eradication. For more information about Malaria Zero, visit www.malariazeroalliance.org

About Malaria Zero
Malaria Zero has one bold goal: to eliminate malaria from the island of Hispaniola, which includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic, by 2020. Partners include the Ministry of Public Health and Population of Haiti, the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance of the Dominican Republic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC Foundation, the Pan American Health Organization, The Carter Center, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.