Fact Box: Growing threat of Malaria in India

Jul 13, 2017 10:09 IST

Malaria in IndiaMalaria and its growing threat in India were recently in news as Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 12 July 2017 launched the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination (2017-22)

This Strategic Plan has year wise elimination targets in various parts of the country depending upon the menace of malaria in the next 5 years.

All about Malaria

Malaria is caused by a Plasmodium Parasites that is transmitted from one human to another by the bite of infected Anopheles mosquitoes.
In humans, the parasites (called sporozoites) migrate to the liver where they mature and release another form, the merozoites.
The majority of Malaria symptoms are caused by the massive release of merozoites into the bloodstream such as anaemia is caused by the destruction of the red blood cells.
There are five parasites that can cause Malaria in humans and the deadliest of all is Plasmodium Falciparum.
Children under the age of 5 and pregnant women are most susceptible to the disease.
More than 70 per cent or two thirds of total malaria deaths constitute children under the age of 5.
Early diagnosis followed by speedy treatment is of the utmost treatment.

Malaria in India

History of Malaria in India

Malaria has been a problem in India for centuries. It's reference can be found in ancient Indian medical literature like the Atharva Veda and Charaka Samhita.
Many centuries ago, it was called the 'King of Diseases' in India. In the thirties, there was no aspect of life in the country that was not affected by malaria.
During the latter parts of nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, nearly one-fourth of Indians suffered from malaria, particularly in the states like Punjab and Bengal.
The economic loss due to malaria was estimated to be at Rs 10000 million per year in 1935.
During the time of independence in 1947, about 75 million people, out of a population of 330 million, were estimated to be infected with malaria.
To combat this menace, the Union Government launched National Malaria Control Programme in April 1953. The programme proved highly successful and the number of malaria cases declined significantly to about 2 million by 1958.
Seeing the success of the programme, the government launched a more ambitious National Malaria Eradication Programme in 1958.
By 1961, the incidence of Malaria dropped further to a mere 49151 cases, with no deaths.

Year

Number of Malaria Deaths in India

2006

1707

2007

1313

2008

1055

2009

1144

2010

1018

2011

754

2012

519

2013

359

What has India done to fight Malaria?

According to World Health Organization (WHO), India contributes 77 per cent of the total malaria cases in Southeast Asia.
The disease is mainly prevalent in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Goa, Southern Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and in northeastern states.
In the 1950s and early 1960s, a major global initiative of WHO to eradicate malaria brought malaria under firm control in India and almost on the verge of eradication, but a reverse followed in the mid-1960s until the mid-1970s.
Indian Government launched the National Malaria Eradication Programme (NMEP) to provide material assistance to the States, including anti-malarials and insecticides.
The implementation of the Modified Plan of Operation (MPO) for the NMEP saw the total number of malaria cases come down from 6.47 million in 1976 to 2.18 million cases in 1984.

Anti-malarials such as, chloroquine, primaquine, quinine and insecticides such as, DDT, synthetic pyrethorids and larvicides were provided to the States during 1997-98.

Central assistance amounting to Rs 102.10 crore was made available to the States including full cash assistance to North-Eastern States during 1999-2000 under the NMEP.

To control malaria in the urban areas, the Urban Malaria Scheme (UMS) was launched in 1971.

However, the resurgence of Malaria in the country made the Indian Government to launch National Framework for Malaria Elimination 2016-2030 in February 2016 targeting elimination of malaria by 2030.

In July 2017, the Union Government launched National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination (2017-22).

Is this article important for exams ? Yes

DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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