x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Malaria cases rise by 600 in Abu Dhabi

The UAE has been malaria-free since 2007, as certified by the World Health Organisation.

More than 600 people were diagnosed with malaria in Abu Dhabi during the last quarter of 2011.

A total of 2,731 cases were recorded by the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (Haad) last year, none of which were contracted locally.

The UAE has been malaria-free since 2007, as certified by the World Health Organisation.

The last local case reported in the country was in 1997, and the UAE was the first country in the Middle East to be declared malaria-free.

Most of the patients who caught the disease, which is spread by the female anopheles mosquito, came from Pakistan, India and Sudan.

Although the number of cases more than doubled from 2010, this is a direct result of the authority switching to an electronic surveillance system, said Dr Farida Al Hosani, section head of communicable diseases, earlier this year.

To keep the country's malaria-free status intact, Haad guidelines require all laboratories that diagnose malaria to have at least one trained lab technician on staff. A three-day series of workshops to train technicians on how to spot the disease is to conclude today.

zalhassani@thenational.ae