Cape Verde, an island in the Atlantic off the coast of Senegal with 500,000 residents follows Mauritius in 1973 and Algeria in 2019, after WHO certified it malaria-free.
Across the world, the domestic chain of transmission has been broken for at least three consecutive years in some 43 countries. The WHO certified them as malaria-free after meeting the requirements.
The World Health Organisation lauded Cape Verde’s effort as a significant milestone in the fight against the disease.
Cape Verde which has 10 islands, faced severe epidemics in densely populated areas before it implemented targeted interventions.
“(It) gives us hope that with existing tools, as well as new ones including vaccines, we can dare to dream of a malaria-free world,” WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.
The WHO said that Cape Verde is the third country in the heavily affected African region, after Mauritius and Algeria, to eliminate the mosquito-borne disease.
“This (certification) has the potential to attract more visitors and boost socioeconomic activities in a country where tourism accounts for approximately 25% of GDP,” the statement said.