The World Health Organization has officially declared Cape Verde malaria-free, making it the third African country – second Sub-Saharan – with that status.
“This success reflects the hard work and dedication of countless health professionals, collaborators, communities, and international partners. It is a testimony to what can be achieved through collective commitment to improving public health,” says Cape Verde’s Health Minister Dr Filomena Gonçalves.
Malaria, a disease spread by mosquito bites, was the cause of death for roughly 580,000 people in Africa in 2022 alone. Over the last few decades, West Africa’s Cape Verde has implemented various monitoring techniques and services to strengthen its healthcare systems and ensure greater access to treatments for malaria. Health experts celebrate the island nation’s persistence and hard work, reminding other small countries that containment and elimination policies against the disease can be effective. Mauritius was the last country in sub-Saharan Africa to be declared malaria-free in 1973 officially. Algeria, in North Africa, was declared malaria-free in 2019.