GENEVA, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Health officials from China, Myanmar, Cambodia, Lao, Thailand and Vietnam along with World Health Organization representatives on Tuesday signed the Ministerial Call for Action to Eliminate Malaria in the Greater Mekong Subregion before 2030.
The event was co-sponsored by China, Myanmar and Sri Lanka and the signing was led by Dr. Myint Htwe, Myanmar's Union Minister for Health and Sports at a side-event during the World Health Assembly which began on Monday.
The event was attended by Cui Li, vice minister of China's National Health Commission, who made a speech before the signing explaining how China is eliminating malaria.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke at the event in support of the fight against malaria which he said afflicts 200 million people worldwide every year.
The document was originally drawn up in Nay Pyi Taw on December 8, 2017, affirming a "One Region, One Strategy" as its guiding principle for malaria elimination.
It commits the national governments to adequate domestic budgetary allocations for malaria elimination efforts from 2015-2030.
The call for action seeks to explore innovative financing mechanisms that tap diverse resources, that may include the business sector (corporate social responsibility), taxation of tobacco and alcohol and special levies on tourism, for example.
The document pledges its signatories to work together with relevant entities as a sub-region to develop and implement cross-border elimination strategies and action plans that concretely address the malaria-related needs.
These include challenges for the populations at risk of malaria living in border areas and cross-border mobile and migrant populations.