URUMQI -- The health authorities in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region on Dec 21 announced that the region has eliminated malaria, following the completion of a state appraisal examining the region's 19-year clean bill of health.
Mard Abdurahm, director of the disease control and prevention department of the regional health commission, said Xinjiang has reported no local malaria infection cases for 19 consecutive years.
The last case was recorded in August 2000, when a farmer in Aksu Prefecture was infected.
Malaria elimination is a national public health action carried out by the Chinese government in response to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the World Health Organization's Malaria Elimination Initiative.
Abdurahm said the malaria elimination in Xinjiang has received strong support from the central government. From 2011 to 2019, more than 10.73 million yuan (around $1.5 million) of government funds was invested to boost malaria prevention and control in the region.
He said epidemiological investigations into 48 malaria cases in Xinjiang from 2011 to 2019 confirmed that they were all imported cases.
The malaria elimination assessment in Xinjiang was made by a team of experts from the National Health Commission, the National Immigration Administration and the General Administration of Customs earlier this month.
Yan Jun, head of the team, said the evaluation team agreed that Xinjiang's malaria prevention and control work had met all the national requirements and passed the malaria elimination evaluation.
Malaria was prevalent in Xinjiang for many decades, with the 1950s and 1960s the main epidemic periods.