Highest malaria cases in India: Caritas

April 27, 2013 by  
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Northeast Indian states and parts of Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal are most prone to the disease.

CaritasNew Delhi, April 25, 2013: Caritas India, the Catholic Church’s social service arm, marked World Malaria Day on Thursday with a discussion on prevention and cure of the disease that claims thousands of lives every year in the country.

While 82 per cent of the Indians live in malaria transmission risk areas, 80 per cent of malaria occurs among 20 percent of the people, who live in “high risk” areas, mostly in poor and tribal villages, participants said.

Malaria is also inextricably linked to poverty, said the participants of the program organized in collaboration with the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP).

People living in the northeast Indian states and parts of Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal are most prone to the disease, said Father Paul Moonjely, assistant director of Caritas India.

He said Caritas has been observing the day since 2011.

“The problem of malaria could be seen in village and poor areas as there is little access to medical facilities and people are not very much aware about its prevention,” said Fr. Moonjely.

In North East India, Caritas India consortium has tested over 40,000 fever cases for malaria and treated slightly more than 2000 cases since 2011 till date under the IMCP-II project.

Through several community awareness and mobilization programs, approximately 500,000 people have been reached in 48 districts in the northeastern region.

According to the estimates of Indian Council of Medical Research, some 30,000 people die of malaria every year. On an average, 40,297 Indians die of the mosquito-borne disease every year. Overall, the number of malaria cases is 9.75 million, according to ICMR estimates.

To mark the day and intensify awareness against malaria, people in the northeast India across more than 30 locations participated in rallies, symposia and other activities like painting, quiz and photography competitions.

“Malaria is easily preventable and curable as effective interventions are now available. Reduction of disease burden can be achieved through collective commitment and convergence of efforts by all stakeholders, including the community and the civil society, public sector and donors,” said Fr. Frederick D’ Souza, executive director of Caritas India.

A short film made by Caritas India on the achievements in fighting malaria in the northeast Indian region was also screened during the program.

The Annual Parasite Incidence (API) was 1.1 per thousand in 2011 as against 1.36 per thousand in 2008, according to government statistics.

India has the highest malaria burden (with an estimated 24 million cases per year), followed by Indonesia and Myanmar in South East Asia, the second most affected region in the world.

– ucan

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