Shrinking the Malaria Map

UCSF Global Health Group’s Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI)

Belize

Reporting only nine cases of local malaria transmission in 2015, Belize is making remarkable progress towards national malaria elimination in advance of the 2020 goal set for the region. 

Belize achieved a 99% decline in reported malaria cases between 2000 and 2015, from 1,486 cases to just nine local cases, and is approaching elimination. No deaths due to malaria have been reported since 2006. The vast majority of the country’s malaria cases occur in the western districts along the Guatemalan border and the southern district along the Caribbean coast, which are mostly rural with relatively large indigenous and migratory populations. All local cases in 2015 were caused by Plasmodium vivax; only 77 cases of P. falciparum have been reported since 2000. Two cases of P. malariae were reported in 2004, the first since the mid-1990s. Malaria transmission occurs from February to April during the dry season and from August to October during the wet season.

Indoor residual spraying (IRS) has been the primary malaria control intervention implemented in Belize over the past several decades, and has contributed significantly to the rapid decline in cases since the peak in 1994. In recent years, however, the country has increasingly prioritized surveillance strengthening, intersectoral cooperation, and cross-border collaboration with Guatemala and Mexico.

Belize is a member of the Amazon Malaria Initiative (AMI), a regional program fostering collaboration in malaria prevention and control supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as a participating country of a regional grant from the Global Fund entitled Elimination of Malaria in Mesoamerica and the Island of Hispaniola (EMMIE). With the support of both initiatives, Belize has reoriented its malaria strategy towards elimination, aiming to achieve the regional goal of elimination by 2020.

9 # of cases (2015)
2020
Elimination goal
Upper middle
Income level

Country briefing

Reported cases
Reported cases
P vivax transmission limit (2010)
P vivax transmission limit (2010)

Challenges to elimination