Representatives from Cambodia, China, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, the six countries that form GMS group, took the call amid concern over resistance of malaria parasites to best of anti-malarial drugs like artemisinin.
Detected resistance in five out of six countries has brought them to ponder over in order to find the permanent way to tackle the issue by removing it completely from the region.
According to a statement by the World Health Organisation's (WHO) South-East Asian regional office, a high-level meeting was convened by the Ministry of Health and Sports, Myanmar in collaboration with the WHO and the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA), GMS representatives put stress on urgent need of a joint action if they wished to fight the problem.
"Malaria is a disease that we can-and must-eliminate from the Greater Mekong Subregion. The drive to achieve this goal by 2030 demonstrates the joint commitment of health leaders from across the subregion to secure the health and well-being of vulnerable populations and ensure no one is left behind," said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia.
Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific said the parasite did not need any passport or visa to cross borders and this makes it essential that you must work closely as one region.
According to WHO, the recent results have been quite impressive in GMS region lessening the malaria cases by 74 percent between 2012 and 2016 and deaths due to malaria by 91 percent in the same time period. (ANI)