New Delhi: The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday declared Sri Lanka a malaria-free nation.

Sri Lanka’s achievement is truly remarkable, a statement by WHO said.

Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO regional director, said Sri Lanka had been among the most malaria-affected countries in the mid-20th century and now it is malaria free.

“In the mid-20th century it was among the most malaria-affected countries, but now it is malaria-free. This is testament to the courage and vision of its leaders, and signifies the great leaps that can be made when targeted action is taken,” Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh said.

“Sri Lanka’s achievement is truly remarkable,” the WHO statement said. “The change in strategy was unorthodox, but highly effective. Mobile malaria clinics in high-transmission areas meant that prompt and effective treatment could reduce the parasite reservoir and the possibility of further transmission.”

WHO said for three-and-a-half years, no locally transmitted malaria cases were recorded in the country.