Malaria cases in Maharashtra drop by 24%, reveals union ministry report
The cases reported in the state have reduced from 23,983 cases in 2016 to 18,133 in 2017.mumbai Updated: Mar 19, 2018 10:54 IST
A recent report submitted by J P Nadda, union minister for health and family welfare department, has stated that malaria cases in Maharashtra have declined by 24% - from 23,983 cases in 2016 to 18,133 in 2017.
State officials have attributed the drop to the annual parasite incident (API) system, under which areas with more than one incidence per 1,000 people received additional surveillance and clinical resources.
In response to a query filed in the Lok Sabha by Dr Kirit Solanki, Member of Parliament from Ahmedabad, West region, Nadda claimed that there is an established surveillance mechanism for malaria control from the district levels to the national level.
“District-wise monthly reports are compiled and collected from the states through active and passive surveillance by health facilities. This includes collection of data at the village levels by ASHAs for tracking malaria,” Nadda cited.
The state has reported a slight increase in the number of dengue cases (from 6,792 in 2016 to 7,442 in 2017) and chikunguniya cases (from 7,570 in 2016 to 7,639 in 2017). However, experts said that Maharashtra’s statistics fare better than the national average and the increase isn’t alarming.
The national report, ranking the states in order of highest to lowest number of health cases recorded, stated that Maharashtra has moved from the seventh position in 2016 to the eighth in 2017.
Public health department officials said the performance of the state has improved owing to additional focus on the western and eastern districts of the state, which record the highest number of cases.
“A majority of malaria cases are recorded in the tribal regions such as Gadchiroli, Gondia, and Chandrapur, and in the western regions such as Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad. Apart from these areas, malaria is not considered a public health problem for the rest of the state,” said Dr P Awate, state surveillance officer.
Dr Awate added that for three years, the department has been working towards focused interventions through API system.
“Wherever API is more than 1, we immediately push more human resources, and increase surveillance, treatment and laboratory facilities to control and decrease the spread of the vector-borne diseases. The districts are divided in three stages of emergency, and every stage has a particular action plan, chalked out with the help of national vector-borne disease control officials,” he said.
Mumbai too has achieved a stability in the number of malaria cases over the past two years, with 5,845 cases recorded in 2016 and 6,019 cases in 2017.
Maharashtra has also adopted a malaria elimination program, which aims to reduce the prevalence of the disease to less than one case per 1,000 people by the year 2030.
According to a World Health Organization report released in November 2017, India accounted for 6% of the world’s malaria cases and 7% deaths due to malaria.