Hyderabad: The fight against malaria seems to have stagnated as 0.7 to 1.6 million confirmed cases were reported by the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme for 2015.
There are 1,000 confirmed deaths annually. Also, the rate of transmission of the infection continues to be very high at 82 per cent, indicating that there is high risk for people living in areas that are affected with mosquitoes and that better control measures are required.
Incidentally, in 2012, the NVBDCP had set up a committee to assess the actual burden of malaria in the country and they had found it to be about 9.7 million, and the deaths were anywhere between 30,014 to 48,000, an alarming number which was not being reported.
The ministry of health and family welfare thus wants to target the upper limit areas as it has become very important to activate the malaria control authorities in all states.
In Telangana, the programme has taken a back seat due to bifurcation and the collection of data has been affected. In 2015, the state showed only three deaths as per NCVDCP data.
A senior malaria control officer in Telangana said, “We had an effective control mechanism where the officers of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and district medical and health officers met every week and reviewed the cases of malaria. In this way, areas with high mosquito menace were pinpointed and tabulated. But these meetings have stopped since the last two years and whatever data is available is very sketchy.”
The weekly meetings would ensure that officers surveyed the high-risk areas and also took care that proper spraying and other measures for repelling mosquitoes were taken.
With India aspiring to be “malaria-free” by 2030, a lot of activities at the ground level requires to be engineered and mechanisms need to be put in place for effective control....