The initiative is to be launched on World Malaria Day on April 25.
All 25 countries will receive specialist support and technical advice to help eradicate the disease.
The countries of the Greater Mekong region of Southeast Asia have already made great strides: the number of cases in the region including Cambodia, China (Yunnan province), Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and the Vietnam declined 97% between 2000 and 2020, the WHO said in a statement.
But the coronavirus crisis has emerged as a major challenge for malaria responses around the world. “More than a year after the start of the pandemic, substantial disruptions in health services persist across the world,” the WHO said.
In many countries, lockdowns and restrictions on the movement of people and goods have resulted in delays in the delivery of insecticide-treated bednets or indoor insecticide spraying campaigns. Malaria diagnostic and treatment services have also been cut off.
Malaria is a fatal disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. It is preventable and curable.
Worldwide, 39 countries and territories have been recognized as malaria free by the WHO. Eleven countries have been certified as malaria-free in the past 20 years.
In 2019, there were approximately 229 million cases of malaria worldwide. The estimated number of deaths from malaria was 409,000 in 2019, according to the WHO. (dpa / NAN)
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