Vanuatu’s Tafea province was officially declared free from malaria by acting Prime Minister, Joe Natuman, Health Minister, Jerome Ludvaune, with the Australian High Commissioner, Jenny Da Rin on Tanna on Friday 17 November.
There have been no confirmed malaria-related deaths in Vanuatu since 2012 and no cases of malaria in Tafea province since 2014.
“The elimination of malaria in Tafea province is a great achievement for the Ministry of Health, provincial authorities and the communities, with Australia’s support. Elimination of malaria in Vanuatu is now possible,” said Australian High Commissioner Jenny Da Rin.
Malaria is a life-threatening mosquito-borne disease and has historically been one of the leading causes of ill health in Vanuatu. In 2003, 74 people per 1000 in Vanuatu contracted malaria but in 2016, only 7 cases per 1000 people were recorded.
In 2009, the Ministry of Health intensified efforts to eliminate malaria in Tafea province, in partnership with the Australian Government, World Health Organisation, Global Fund and others. Eight years later, the province has been declared malaria free.