The article published by Quispe and others1 outlines Peru's three strategic plans to eliminate malaria in the Peruvian Amazon region. It is a significant achievement for Peru to implement a plan to eradicate malaria in the Amazon region, where the greater percentages of cases of malaria in Peru are concentrated.2
Malaria has devastating effects on the health and way of life of the people all over the world; however, it can be prevented and treated. In America, cases of malaria have been reduced by 58%, and malaria deaths have decreased by 70% since 2000.3 These figures are very encouraging and represent a starting point from which to propose new long-term goals for the eradication of malaria.
To analyze the current situation in Peru compared with the rest of South America, we created a chart using World Health Organization data on cases of malaria and the total population, analyzing the incidences by year (Figure 1). In South America (excluding Guyana, Suriname, and French Guyana), three countries (Argentina, Ecuador, and Paraguay) have achieved the preelimination phase. Peru appears to be the only country that has not been able to significantly reduce its cases of malaria, with 249.57 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2000 compared with 220.58 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 2015, which indicates that Peru has neither kept up with nor applied the strategies used by its neighboring countries. Venezuela, Bolivia, and Brazil have gradually reduced their incidences of malaria during this period of time.
Multidisciplinary strategies4 for the control of malaria must be continued, from hygiene education for the community and better access to medication, to the creation of vaccines to interrupt the spread of malaria and the strengthening of the economic political strategies of malaria-endemic countries such as Peru.
We thank Suzanna Rojas Thompson for her constructive comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.
Quispe AM, Llanos-Cuentas A, Rodriguez H, Clendenes M, Cabezas C, Leon LM, Chuquiyauri R, Moreno M, Kaslow DC, Grogl M, Herrera S, Magill AJ, Kosek M, Vinetz JM, Lescano AG, Gotuzzo E, 2016. Accelerating to zero: strategies to eliminate malaria in the Peruvian Amazon. Am J Trop Med Hyg 94: 1200–1207.
Ministerio de Salud del Perú–Dirección General de Epidemiología (MINSA–DGE), 2015. Situational Room Report: Epidemiological Week 31. Peru: Ministerio de Salud del Perú, Dirección General de Epidemiología.
Tanner M, Greenwood B, Whitty CJ, Ansah EK, Price RN, Dondorp AM, von Seidlein L, Baird JK, Beeson JG, Fowkes FJ, Hemingway J, Marsh K, Osier F, 2015. Malaria eradication and elimination: views on how to translate a vision into reality. BMC Med 13: 167.