The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a campaign to eradicate malaria in 1955. They used the tools that were considered most effective at the time: DDT for vector control and chloroquine for treatment and prevention. The campaign succeeded in eliminating malaria from Europe, North America, the Caribbean and parts of Asia and South and Central America.
However, drug and insecticide resistance emerged about a decade later. Tragically, there were no second-line antimalarial medicines and insecticides to replace the tools that had lost their efficacy, and countries like Sri Lanka, which had come close to elimination, experienced dramatic increases in malaria cases and deaths. By 1969, the political will to eradicate malaria globally faltered, and every year, malaria continued taking a terrible toll on the world’s poorest people.