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Special Interview with Dr. Xiao-Nong Zhou --Fight with Malaria, 70 Years of Hard Work in China

Published on: 22 Aug 2022 Viewed: 369

On 15 August, we were honored to have an exclusive interview with Dr. Xiao-Nong Zhou, the Editorial Board Member of One Health&Implementation Research. China was officially declared malaria-free by WHO on 30 June 2021. In this interview, Dr. Zhou reviewed China’s hard work in fighting against malaria. His team deserves praise for their dedication and enormous contribution to malaria elimination in China.

Exclusive interview:

Have a quick look at the questions and highlights:

1.China was certified malaria-free by WHO on June 30, 2021. It is a remarkable achievement with 70 years of hard work. Could you please share the critical and impressive moments with us?

The achievement of malaria-free in China was greatly contributed by several generations of health workers. It is the first time for China to have zero indigenous malaria cases, reduced from more than 30,000,000 cases per year in the 1940s. China became the first case that a country in the World Health Organization Western Pacific Region has been certified malaria-free in more than three decades.

2.China has achieved great experience in the control of malaria. To help eliminate malaria globally, what strategies and experience could China offer to other countries?

① The Government-led programme makes it possible to promote cross-sector cooperation in the control and elimination of malaria.
② Taking tailored strategy in local settings, evidence-based approach, and integrated control when China entered the elimination phase in 2010.
③ The strong surveillance and response system makes it possible to implement an elimination programme to achieve the case-based track.
④ China has invested in building a national malaria control network stretching down to the lowest levels of government.

3.To eliminate malaria globally, what urgent efforts do you think need to be made? And what is the important role of “One Health” in this feat?

It is important to promote the eradication programme globally by using the One Health approach. Dr. Zhou listed four major reasons: Cooperation of multi-departments involved; International action involved; Integral part of good governance mechanisms in the field of zoonotic risks; multi-disciplinary cooperation among biology and entomology, epidemiology, environmental intervention, information and computation, surveillance and forecast systems, and big data technologies involved.

4.We learned about your recently launched evaluation framework “Global One Health index” (GOHI). Could you please introduce how it works in the decision-making and implementation of global health?

A Cell-like Framework for GOHI has been established, which comprises an External Driver Index (EDI), an Intrinsic Driver Index (IDI) and a Core Driver Index (CDI). The results of the pilot analysis based on the data from more than 200 countries/territories are consistent with the results from a literature review, which suggests the feasibility of GOHI as a tool for the assessment of global One Health performance.

Personal Introduction:

Dr. Xiao-Nong Zhou serves as the Director of the National Institute of Parasitic Diseases at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Chinese Center for Tropical Diseases Research). In addition, he is the Director of the One Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University – The University of Edinburg based in Shanghai. He was the Chair of the National Expert Advisory Committee on schistosomiasis and other parasitic diseases for China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC). He has abundant long-term cooperation experiences with WHO and is serving as Chair of WHO Western Pacific Regional Programme Review Group (RPRG) on Neglected Tropical Diseases. His research work focuses on the field of ecology, population biology, and epidemiology of tropical diseases. He has published more than 500 papers and was listed as one of the “Highly Cited Chinese Researchers” (Elsevier) for 2016-2021.  

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