Last year, 1,190 people died of malaria in the city, according to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) data obtained under the Right To Information Act by a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Praja foundation.
“We sought this data through RTI applications in all the wards. The trends that have emerged are very disturbing because of which we have written to the chief minister asking him to form a special task force to tackle curable diseases such as malaria and diarrhea,” said Nitai Mehta, founder trustee of Praja.
Despite this, the civic body maintains that only 145 malaria deaths were reported in the city last year. “The number of deaths given by the NGO is unsubstantiated and according to our data there have been 145 deaths last year,” said additional municipal commissioner, Manisha Mhaiskar.
Data obtained by the NGO shows that around 132 people died of malaria in G-south ward (Worli, Mahalaxmi) alone.
The data also shows that in the last three years, 2,100 malaria deaths have been recorded. There has been an upswing in lifestyle diseases such as hypertension and diabetes across the city, according to the data.
Between April 2008 and March 2009, civic dispensaries registered 16,638 cases of hypertension whereas 20,615 cases were recorded in the corresponding period of 2010-11.
Diabetes cases have also seen a sharp increase. According to the data, 2,593 cases were reported in 2008-09 and 4,536 cases in 2010-11. Diarrhoea deaths have increased from 447 people in 2009 to 599 people in 2010.