Malaria is a public health problem in endemic countries with 219 mllion estimated cases worldwide in 2017. In Morocco, malaria infection has not been recorded locally since 2004 and the country has have been certified in 2010 as free of malaria, with zero indigenous cases. However, the problem of imported malaria persists and poses a risk of the diseases reintroduction. Investigations on the pattern and features of the imported malaria during a eight-year period (2010-2017) revealed a total notified number of 3122 cases, with annual mean number of 390 cases. The most predominant causative parasite was Plasmodium falciparum, then Plasdamodium ovale, while lower rates were detected for Plasdamodium vivax and Plansmodium malriae. An increasing trend with time in imported malaria cases was recorded with 218 cases notified in 2010 versus 496 cases in 2017. These were mainly detected in large urban areas, such as Casablanca, Rabat, but also Fes Agadir and others). Significantly more males than females were affected (Male to female sex-ratio ranging from 7.5 to 24). Most of cases (98%) are ≥ 15 years of age, and mainly consisted of Moroccan workers and/or travelers to sub-saharan Africa. This may be related to Morocco’s openness to the sub-Saharan Africa with an increase in international travels and migration flow from malaria endemic countries. Although many countries moved towards national malaria elimination, there is an increasing focus on malaria importation and the vulnerability of countries to resurgence. To keep the status of autochthonous malaria free country, since 2011 the Moroccan Ministry of Health has developed and implemented a strategy adapted to Moroccan context, to maintain malaria elimination and prevent its reintroduction.
Imported malaria; Plasmodium; Control; Elimination; Epidemiology.