1962, global malaria eradication
program, world health organisation

TYPE:
Campaign
DATE OF ISSUE:
7 APRIL 1962
ISSUED BY:
INdia post
NUMBER OF STAMPS ISSUED:
3.5 Million
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This stamp was issued to bring awareness to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) global campaign to eradicate Malaria, the Global Malaria Eradication Program (GMEP). Launched in 1955 at the World Health Assembly, the campaign still stands as one of the most ambitious international health interventions, ever.

The Indian government launched its own National Malaria Eradication Programme (NMEP) in 1958, with support from WHO. The agency had already run four pilot malaria control projects together with UNICEF in the regions of Mysore, Orissa, Madras and Terai. Nearly one-fifth of India’s health budget would be allocated to malaria eradication by 1962.

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WHO expert testing a boy for malaria in Uttar Pradesh, 1949. Photo: WHO

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In India, the number of malaria cases declined from an estimated 110 million in 1955 to less than a million in 1968. WHO assisted in eliminating malaria in 15 countries over the course of the campaign. A renewed global commitment to malaria eradication since 2000 has led to cases declining by 60% around the world, and by over 50% in India.

The WHO country office for India was established in the late 1980s. In 2000, its mandate was expanded to include community health, noncommunicable diseases, mental health, health systems development, sustainable development and healthy environment, and health action in emergencies.

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WHO doctor running malaria tests, 1959. Photo: WHO

In May 2020 Dr Harsh Vardhan, India’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare was elected the Chair of WHO’s Executive Board.