Three organizations from Honduras, Brazil and Nicaragua were honored in 2011 as Malaria Champions of the Americas for their successful efforts to reduce deaths and illnesses from this disease. The top Malaria Champion of the Americas award went to the Honduran program Integrated Management of Malaria in Wampusirpi, Department of Gracias a Dios, which succeeded in reducing malaria cases more than 80 percent—from 337 to 60—between June 2010 and June 2011. The program was carried out by the Ministry of Health of Honduras with technical support from PAHO/WHO and in coordination with municipal committees and nongovernmental organizations. It employed interventions including insecticide-treated mosquito nets, identification of mosquito breeding sites, diagnosis and treatment for the population, and an educational campaign. Gracias a Dios, a geographically isolated department with a large indigenous population, has the highest incidence of malaria of any department in Honduras or Central America.
Using funds from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the National Malaria Board of Suriname has sponsored training for lay people on the diagnosis and treatment of uncomplicated malaria in gold mining areas, where the disease is now concentrated, and has improved surveillance in areas where the disease has been eliminated. The Board has also guided collaborative efforts between Suriname and French Guiana to reduce high rates of transmission along their common border. In conjunction with the University of Suriname, the Board also established a Malaria Gene Bank to help monitor the development of resistance to anti-malaria drugs.