Shrinking the Malaria Map

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

Guatemala

Guatemala reported 6,834 cases of local malaria transmission in 2015 and is working to achieve national malaria elimination by the 2020 regional goal.

Guatemala has had remarkable success in reducing its malaria burden over the past decade and a half, from a high of 53,311 cases in 2000 to 6,834 local cases in 2015. Until recently, the vast majority of the country’s malaria cases occurred in the northern departments, or states, of Alta Verapaz, Peten, and Quiche along the Mexican border, but in the past decade, cases have increasingly been concentrated in the southern coastal departments of Escuintla, Retalhuleu, and Suchitepequez. Nearly all reported cases in 2015 were caused by Plasmodium vivax; historically, P. falciparum has accounted for less than 5% of annual cases. Transmission is perennial, with most cases occurring between May and October, and the malaria burden is highest among rural, indigenous populations, and migrant agricultural workers.

Guatemala has received financial support from the Global Fund for its malaria operations since 2005, and interventions have centered on the mobilization of community volunteers to access, educate, and treat remote, high-risk populations. In 2006, the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare (MSPAS) began efforts to eliminate P. falciparum and reduce P. vivax transmission by 2015 using a phased approach by department health area. Guatemala 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 new regional grant from the Global Fund entitled Elimination of Malaria in Mesoamerica and the Island of Hispaniola (EMMIE). With the support of both initiatives, Guatemala has strengthened its malaria elimination strategy and is now aiming to achieve the regional goal of elimination by 2020.

6,834 # of cases (2015)
2020
Elimination goal
Lower middle
Income level
Reported cases
Reported cases
P falciparum transmission limit (2010)
P falciparum transmission limit (2010)
P vivax transmission limit (2010)
P vivax transmission limit (2010)

Challenges to elimination