Ahead on malaria: on reduction in cases in India


The World Malaria Report 2018 of the World Health Organisation notes that India’s record offers great promise in the quest to cut the number of new cases and deaths globally by at least 40% by 2020, and to end the epidemic by 2030.

Ahead on malaria: on reduction in cases in India

Highlights:

*India has suffered from a major burden of malaria for decades, with high levels of morbidity and death.
* But the declining trend of the scourge shows that sustained public health action can achieve good results.
* The World Malaria Report 2018 of the World Health Organisation notes that India’s record offers great promise in the quest to cut the number of new cases and deaths globally by at least 40% by 2020, and to end the epidemic by 2030.
* A lot of that optimism has to do with the progress made by Odisha, one of the most endemic States.
* Investments made there in recruiting accredited social health workers and large-scale distribution of insecticide-treated bednets, together with strategies to encourage health-seeking behaviour, seem to have paid off.

WHO Reports:

*The Report claimed that India's malaria surveillance mechanism detected a mere eight per cent of cases.
*India’s record offers great promise in the quest to cut the number of new cases and deaths globally by at least 40% by 2020, and to end the epidemic by 2030. 
*The malaria cases in Odisha have been coming down steadily since 2003, with a marked reduction since 2008, attributed to greater political and administrative commitment.
*The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry put the number of malaria cases in Odisha at 3,52,140.
* This positive trend should encourage authorities not just in Odisha, but in the northeastern States and elsewhere too to cut the transmission of the disease further.
*The reduction in the number of cases should not produce complacency and lead to a reduction in deployment of health workers and funding cuts to programme components. 
*Some patients in West Bengal became resistant to the treatment protocol used for the falciparum parasite

Way forwards:

*One issue that requires monitoring in India is resistance to combination therapy using artemisinin. 
*Eliminating malaria requires an integrated approach, and this should involve Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal, which have a higher burden of the disease. 

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Ahead on malaria: on reduction in cases in India Ahead on malaria: on reduction in cases in India Reviewed by The Hindu Current Affairs on November 27, 2018 Rating: 5

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