Maha records 12% of India’s malaria, dengue deaths, gets less than 2% funds from Centre
While the state received Rs6.02 crore in 2015-16, the funding dropped to to Rs7.06 crore in 2017-18.mumbai Updated: Mar 21, 2018 11:58 IST
Despite recording more than 12% of the country’s malaria and dengue deaths, Maharashtra’s share of vector borne disease fund allocation is less than 2% of the national spend on vector control programmes, revealed data from the Union health ministry. While the state received Rs6.02 crore in 2015-16, the amount increased to Rs13.2 crore in 2016-17. However, the funding dropped to to Rs7.06 crore in 2017-18.
Officials from the public health department denied that Maharashtra was being ignored by the Centre and said the state has ample economic resources to plan and implement vector control programmes.
Statistics for the past four years revealed that Maharashtra has recorded most number of dengue deaths in the country and is fifth for malarial deaths. The state recorded 104 malaria deaths and 97 dengue deaths from 2015 to 2018 (till February).
While the number of deaths due to malaria has dwindled from 59 (2015) and 26 (2016) to 19 (2017), the number of dengue deaths have increased in the subsequent years — 23 (2015), 33 (2016) and 41 (2017).
State health officials said that the number of high casualties could also be due to the numerous tertiary level medical facilities of the state which treat high number of critical cases from neighboring states. There is no data on the number of patients who come to Maharashtra from outside the state. “Hospitals like KEM, Sion, Nair in Mumbai and Sasoon in Pune, treat high number of dengue and malaria cases from other states. Moreover, the cases come to these tertiary care facilities in the most critical stages with minimal chances of survival,” said a public health official.
Ironically, despite of acting as a tertiary level health provider, the fund allocation under National Vector Borne Disease Control Program (NVBDCP) witnesses an uneven allocation when it comes to Maharashtra. Under NVBDCP, the states receive funds through union ministry for filling vacant posts of medical staff and build mechanism and infrastructure to offer better services and contain the spread of the disease.
Dr Sanjeev Kumar, mission director, National Health Mission (NHM) and Director (additional charge), Directorate of Health Services (DHS), Maharashtra refused that the state is ignored in terms of fund allocation. “The fund allocation is done as per budget planning and every state is allotted equal amount of money as per its population and services. If the funds have decreases in NVBDCP, it’s possible that some other program must’ve been allotted more funds but again, I’ll check the statistics to see if there is any shortage of funds,” said Dr Kumar.