Malaria deaths drop by 77% in five years in Mumbai

  • Aayushi Pratap, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 26, 2016 00:28 IST

The city has seen a decrease of around 80% in the number of malaria cases reported, in the last five years, according to data from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

The data indicates that deaths caused by malaria have gone down substantially over the past five years, with just 16 deaths reported in 2015, as against 69 deaths in 2011, which accounts for a 77% decrease.

“In the past five years, we have paid a lot of attention to construction areas in the city, which are active breeding sites of the mosquitoes. We conduct regular blood examination drives for labourers to detect the cases early,” said Dr Santosh Revankar, deputy executive health officer, BMC.

“We have also introduced rapid test kits and ensured the availability of drugs to treat the diseases which helped in early detection and prompt treatment,” he added.

Even at the state level, the deaths owing to malaria have decreased by nearly 68% in the past three years, according to the data from the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme. However, the number of new malaria cases reported in the state, continue to remain stagnant, said heath officials.

“While the number of malaria cases, have decreased in Mumbai, the incidence of malaria continue to remain high in some of the tribal areas of the state like Gadchiroli. These areas are tough terrains to work with,” said Pradip Awate , state surveillance officer.

“We are increasing our man power to have better access to these tribal areas,” said Awate.

Although the mortality rates because of malaria have decreased, public health experts said that the city is nowhere close to eliminating the disease.

“We have conducted so many awareness camps and yet we do not see enough community participation,” said Rajan Naringrekar, chief insecticide officer, BMC. “Many people in the city have started storing water in their house owing to water scarcity. However, they don’t change the water which definitely leads to an increase in breeding sites in the city.”

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