Assam records declining malaria numbers - NEWS SENTRY


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Assam records declining malaria numbers

GUWAHATI: The state health department, on the occasion of World Malaria Day on Tuesday, claimed that Assam currently is a pre-elimination phase state in the country, with declining trend in bothmalaria morbidity and mortality cases being reported from the 23 districts in the state.

Assam, along with the northeast, contributes 10 to 12 percent of total malaria cases in the country. According to the National Framework for Malaria Elimination in India (NFME), the state is placed at category 2, with an anual parasite incidence (API) of less than 1 case per 1000 population at risk.

However, the state is not out of the woods, as four districts in the state, namely Karbi Anglong, Dima Hasao, Chirang and Udalguri, are still considered high endemic districts with an API more than 1.

Statistics provided by the health department claimed that from 29,999 malaria cases, with 13 mortality cases, being reported from across the state in 2012, Assam has witnessed a downward trend to 7,826 cases, with six deaths, reported in 2016.

A similar declining trend has been seen over recent years - 19,542 cases, with seven fatalities, in 2013; 14,544 cases, with 11 deaths, in 2014; 15,557 cases with four deaths in 2015.

Officials from the state chapter of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) told TOI on Tuesday that intervention from both the state health department and the voluntary organizations has led to the declining trend.

"Steps taken, such as introduction of RDT (Rapid Diagnosis Test) by ASHAs, MPWS, new drugs such as ACT-AL, along with distribution of LLIN (Long Lasting Insecticidal Net), with 29,58,900 nets distributed to the community, have led to differences since 2012," said Keshab Barman, state public health consultant of the State Vector Borne Disease Control Programme.

"According to NFME states are categorised at different categories. Manipur is category 1. Assam and Nagaland are at category 2. Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura are at category 3. The need of the hour is to move the states downward and reach category 0," said Stephen Gangmei of Caritas India, a NGO working with NVBDCP to eliminate malaria.

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