The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Malaria cases have decreased by 58% in Central America, but there are still 106 million people at risk of getting it because they are living in endemic areas said José Ruales, the representative of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

“The good news is that since 2000 to date, malaria has reduced by about 58% in the Americas,” said Ruales, during an event called “Malaria Day in the Americas.”

Countries with greater reduction over the last decade are El Salvador, Paraguay, Ecuador and Suriname, he added.

Moreover, he noted that in Central America, according to projections, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Belize have achieved the elimination malaria more quickly than other neighboring countries.

Costa Rica reported eight cases last year, El Salvador had 21, and Belize had 37 cases. Panama last year recorded 844 cases of malaria, 1,235 in Nicaragua, Guatemala had 5,346 and Honduras had 6,430 cases.

He stressed that Haiti last year had 20,468 cases of malaria, which has become the highest incidence of malaria in the region.

Each year there are about 219 million people worldwide who suffer from malaria and 600,000 that die from the disease, said Ruales.

The Costa Rica News