Headline : Malaria may get ‘dangerous’ tag, but there’s nothing to worry about
- Malaria may soon be re-categorised as a ‘dangerous disease’ like tuberculosis, plague, small pox or leprosy in the capital.
- The re-categorisation is taking place not because the disease has acquired an epidemic proportion or a new dangerous strain has been found.
- The intention is to improve the screening mechanism to eradicate the disease completely from the city.
- Delhi reported just 201 cases of malaria in 2014, which rose to 359 in 2015, 454 in 2016 and 577 in 2017.
- Last year, 473 cases were reported while the count at the onset of this monsoon was around 83.
- Peri-domestic containers — vase, flower pots, bird pots, tins, tyres and water fountains — account for the largest chunk of the mosquito breeding sites (38%).
- Domestic water storage containers — drums, buckets, jerry cans etc — come second at 33%.
- Desert coolers, used in Delhi in large numbers, and overhead tanks come at the third and fourth spots, respectively.
- At present, the corporations only get the data related to the mosquito-borne diseases from 36 hospitals under the sentinel scheme.
- As malaria is not considered risky, most cases do not get reported.
- Doctors give medicines for four-five days, which cures the symptoms but traces of the parasite stay in the liver.
- However, a full 14-day radical treatment has to be followed for its complete removal from the system.
- Post this step, it will become obligatory for all medical practitioners, clinics and private hospitals to report and give information about all patients arriving at their facilities.
- The obligatory reportage will improve mapping of malaria cases and discourage incomplete treatment, which leads to development of resistance against drugs
Mechanisms to deal with Malaria in the country
- In 1953, the Government of India launched the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) with a focus on indoor residual spraying of DDT. Within five years, the program helped to dramatically reduce the annual incidence of malaria.
- Encouraged by this, a more ambitious National Malaria Eradication Programme (NMEP) was launched in 1958. This further reduced the number of malaria cases and eliminated deaths from the disease.
- However, after 1967, resistance to insecticides and the parasite’s growing resistance to antimalarial drugs, led to a resurgence of the disease countrywide.
National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme
- In 2003, malaria control was integrated with other vector borne diseases under the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP).
- It is concerned with prevention and control of vector borne diseases namely Malaria, Filariasis, Kala-azar, Dengue and Japanese Encephalitis (JE).
- The 5 diseases were brought under a common umbrella as they share common control strategies such as
- Chemical controls (e.g. indoor residual spraying),
- Environmental management,
- Biological control (e.g. larvivorous fish), and
- Personal protection strategies (e.g. insecticide treated bed-nets).
- The Directorate of NVBDCP is the nodal agency for programme implementation in respect of prevention and control of these vector borne diseases.
- The Directorate provides technical assistance and support in terms of cash and commodity to the various states/UTs.
- The programme implementation is the responsibility of the states/UTs.
National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME)
- The National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) in India 2016–2030 has been developed in close collaboration with officials from NVBDCP, experts from the Indian Council of Medical Research, WHO and representatives from civil society institutions, professional bodies and partners.
- All states/UTs have been grouped into one of four categories. It will serve as a guide for states and UTs for planning malaria elimination.
- Based on their malaria burden, specific objectives have been established for each of these categories and a mix of interventions will be implemented in each of them.
- It will be implemented by the Directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP).
- Eliminate malaria (zero indigenous cases) throughout the entire country by 2030.
- Maintain malaria–free status in areas where malaria transmission has been interrupted and prevent re-introduction of malaria.
- Eliminate malaria from all 26 low (Category 1) and moderate (Category 2) transmission states/union territories (UTs) by 2022.
- Reduce the incidence of malaria to less than 1 case per 1000 population per year in all states and UTs and their districts by 2024.
- Interrupt indigenous transmission of malaria throughout the entire country, including all high transmission states and union territories (UTs) (Category 3) by 2027.
- Prevent the re-establishment of local transmission of malaria in areas where it has been eliminated and maintain national malaria-free status by 2030 and beyond.
Section : Science & Tech