China Eradicates Malaria After 70-Year Effort

By Yicheng Gu, July 2, 2021

0 2

On June 30, China received the WHO certification for becoming a malaria-free zone.

In an announcement on Wednesday, the WHO said it was a notable feat for China that reported 30 million cases of the mosquito-borne infectious disease annually in the 1940s.

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Their success was hard-earned and came only after decades of targeted and sustained action. With this announcement, China joins the growing number of countries that are showing the world that a malaria-free future is a viable goal.”

Three main ways China conquered the disease include public health service packages for all citizens free of charge, multi-sector collaboration and strict reporting of malaria cases.

Malaria spreads through infected mosquitoes. The most intuitive way to control the spread of such a disease is to limit its sources. 

Starting from the 1950s, China took great measures to reduce mosquito breeding. In the 1980s, China extensively tested the use of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs). And by 1988, the country distributed 2.4 million nets nationwide. 

The government has proven to be a major propeller in the reduction of malaria as well. 

The first government campaign launched in response to the spread of malaria is the ‘523 project’ in 1967. The 523 project was a nationwide project to find a new treatment for malaria, involving 500 scientists from 60 institutions. A more recent campaign is the ‘1-3-7’ strategy to prevent the re-establishment of malaria.  

As early as the 1950s, there have been preventive anti-malaria medicines available. Scientists discovered artemisinin – an ancient Chinese herbal therapy for malarial fevers – after 20 years of research.

These developments, accompanied by the improvement of medical equipment, led to a 95% reduction in death caused by malaria by the end of 1990.

On Chinese social media, Weibo users celebrated the country’s achievement, with one person commenting, “To go from 30 million to zero cases is a remarkable feat in the history of world health.” Many praised the scientists and doctors who dedicated their careers to eradicating this illness.

Forty countries have been certified malaria-free by the WHO as of June 30.

[Cover image via @南方周末/Weibo]

more news

Buy Ultimate Travel Guide 'Explore China' Now

Unlock the mysteries of the most populous country on the planet, including historical sites, scenic nature spots, local delicacies to savor and more.

This Day in History: China’s First KFC Opens by Tiananmen Square

On November 12, 1987, KFC made its debut in China near Qianmen in Beijing.

This Day in History: The Birth of Sun Yat-sen, Father of Modern China

To this day, more than 150 years after his birth, Sun is one of the most revered political figures among Chinese people.

UK Approves China’s COVID-19 Vaccines, But There’s a Catch

As of November 22, China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm Beijing vaccines will be accepted for entry from abroad into England.

2 User Comments

    In Case You Missed It…

    We're on WeChat!

    Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

    7 Days in China With thatsmags.com

    Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

    Subscribe

    Download previous issues

    Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

    Visit the archives