GENEVA, April 25 (Xinhua) -- On the occasion of World Malaria Day on Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a new guide to help countries to move towards malaria elimination.
The new guide provides countries with a comprehensive framework to assess different scenarios and timelines for moving towards elimination, depending on program coverage and funding availability.
"Increased political commitment and the expansion of global malaria investments have saved some 3.3 million lives since 2000," Margaret Chan, WHO director-general, said in a statement.
Statistics showed that the malaria mortality rate in the globe and African region have dramatically dropped 42 percent and 49 percent respectively since 2000.
However, WHO still estimated as many as 207 million cases of malaria took place in 2012, causing over 600,000 deaths.
The UN global health agency said that although many countries have the political will to commit to elimination of the disease, technical, operational and financial obstacles remained, particularly in countries and regions with a high disease burden.
The new guide will help countries and regions assess what resources they need to reduce malaria transmission to very low levels, and provide them with essential knowledge for long-term strategic planning for malaria program.
Established in 2007, World Malaria Day is an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria control and elimination.