Four countries (Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela) together contributed ~80% of the 875,000 malaria cases reported in the Latin American region (2016). During the 10-year period (2005–2015) when global malaria incidence was dramatically reduced, Brazil and Colombia were an integral part of this trend, on track to meet the mid-term 2020 goal established by the World Health Organization. In Colombia, since 2015 at the cessation of a five-year globally funded malaria program, both incidence and proportion of Plasmodium falciparum infections have increased, mainly due to the budget constraints. Similarly, despite a strong record and major recognition for reducing malaria, in 2017, Brazil has seen a resurgence of malaria cases, but no increase in the proportion of Plasmodium falciparum to P. vivax. A globally funded malaria control program in Peru from 2005 to 2010 resulted in appreciable reduction in the annual parasitic incidence down to 1/1000 by 2011–2012, but soon after, the annual malaria incidence began to rise and by the end of 2017, there were 53,261 reported cases. To add to Venezuela’s political and financial woes, malaria continues to increase, such that, 300,189 cases were reported by the end of week 42, 2017. The only rational pathway to malaria elimination is sustained nation-level financial support that does not fall prey to political vicissitudes.
Part of the book: Towards Malaria Elimination