A delegation from the World Health Organisation Malaria Certification Committee met the UAE Minister of Health, Hamad Abdul Rahman Al Midfaa, and informed him about the steps taken to certify and declare the UAE free of malaria

By Staff Report

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Published: Wed 9 Nov 2005, 12:47 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:59 PM

Speaking to the Press after the meeting, Dr Mahmoud Fikri, Assistant Director at the Ministry of Health, said that WHO was likely to certify the UAE free of malaria by February. “The certification would make the UAE the first GCC country to be declared free of malaria,” said Fikri.

“Kuwait is malaria free but that is naturally, and it has not been certified by WHO,” said Dr Walther H Wernsdorfer, Chairman, Expert Committee on Malaria, WHO. “The UAE and Oman reported their last cases of locally-generated malaria in 2000 and 1998, respectively,” he explained.

Dr Fikri said that the certification could come in early 2006, which was a great achievement. “Any disease that has been listed as part of the national health policy, for the country to be free of the disease is a great achievement,” he added. He also said that the UAE had been seeking certification for three years.

“Now, we are wrapping up the list of requirements before the certification,” he added. Dr Fikri said some of the requirements include conducting epidemiological studies on the population and providing a detailed history of malaria in the country.

Speaking about the department of Malaria in Sharjah, Dr Fikri promised said that the department would be strengthened and would be given responsibilities to handle other water borne diseases. The meeting was also attended by Dr Hoda Youssef M. Atta, Regional Advisor, Roll Back Malaria, DCD from WHO’s Regional office for the Eastern Mediterranean.

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