Bhopal 02.05.2022. Malaria has wreaked havoc on Indian society for years.Mosquitoes kill more people every day than sharks do in a century.
Malaria is one of those crucial public health priorities for India said, Dr Naresh Purohit – Advisor for National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme .
Speaking to the reporters here Renowned Epidemiologist Dr Purohit said that even during pandemic in pre-monsoon season, India can’t afford to forget about malaria.
He said that India and 19 countries in sub-Saharan Africa carried almost 85 per cent of the global malaria burden, and the disease caused 4,05,000 deaths in 2018 alone, according to the World Malaria Report 2019.
He pointed that the disease disproportionately affects the financially weaker sections of society as well as pregnant mothers and children under the age of five.
Noted Infectious Disease Expert stated that India has reduced its malaria cases by nearly 69 per cent, according to data on malaria by the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program (NVBDCP) and the progress has been lauded by the World Health Organization (WHO).
He revealed that till 2017, India was among the top four countries in the world with the highest malaria burden; however, the World Malaria Report 2019 (capturing data from 2018) revealed that India even alleviated itself out of that group.
He averred that it is important to understand that malaria cases increase during monsoon, because the weather creates favourable breeding ground for the mosquitoes that carry the disease.
Hence, India’s progress in controlling malaria has been a result of pre-emptive measures taken by authorities before the onset of monsoon, and rigorous surveillance and testing during monsoon.
He said that to sustain the decline in malaria cases, it is important that case surveillance is intensified starting pre-monsoon season and sustained through the monsoon. This requires prioritising malaria work between May and September at the grassroots level. It’s also important for India to replenish long-lasting insecticidal nets in high burden areas in time to maintain the gains achieved since 2016.