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World Malaria Report

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • The latest World Malaria Report indicates a significant reduction in both cases and fatalities attributed to the mosquito-borne infection in India.
  • With approximately 33.8 lakh cases and 5,511 deaths, India saw a substantial 30% decline in malaria incidence and a noteworthy 34% decrease in mortality in 2022 compared to the preceding year.

 

Global Malaria Trends

·       Worldwide increase in malaria cases and deaths after a decade of stability.

·       5 million additional malaria cases in 2022, totalling 249 million. Of the 5 million additional cases, the highest 2.1 million was from Pakistan that had a flood in 2022

·       Malaria deaths in 2022 is   608,000 compared to 576,000 in 2019.

 

Factors behind the India’s Success

  • Focused efforts to provide primary healthcare services in the most distant and inaccessible regions.
  • Utilization of digital data to strengthen malaria surveillance, enabling more efficient tracking and response mechanisms.
  • Adequate preparation and management of extreme weather events, such as cyclones, reducing incidences of malaria associated with such occurrences.

 

Key Strategies in India

 

  • Implementation of good preventive practices and the use of effective tools to control mosquito populations.
  • Implementation of effective case management strategies to reduce the severity and impact of malaria.
  • Substantial investments in key tools such as insecticide-treated mosquito nets and antimalarial drugs.
  • Emphasis on the use of point-of-care tests to quickly detect and diagnose malaria, facilitating prompt treatment.
  • Recognition of urbanization as a factor contributing to a reduction in mosquito breeding grounds and, consequently, malaria transmission.

 

India’s Global Contribution

  • India accounted for 1.4% of total malaria cases globally.
  • Despite being a significant contributor, India’s success in reducing cases and deaths is noteworthy globally.
  • Success reflected in the larger WHO South East Asian region.
  • India’s achievements align with the broader regional progress toward the 2030 target of reducing malaria cases and deaths by 90%.

 

Climate Change and Malaria

  • Concerns about the impact of climate change on malaria transmission due to the sensitivity of the malaria parasite and mosquitoes to climatic factors.
  • Recognition of the need to address climate change as a crucial factor influencing the geographical spread and intensity of malaria.

 

Challenges Ahead

  • Identification of challenges, including drug resistance, insecticide resistance, and gene deletions in parasites, which may complicate malaria control efforts.
  • Particular attention to vivax malaria, which poses challenges due to its ability to hide in the liver and cause recurrent infections (Over 40% of cases in India).
  • Emphasis on strengthening surveillance systems to locate and treat scattered cases, coupled with the need for interventions tailored to specific national and subnational requirements.

 

Call for Action

  • Recognition of the importance of robust surveillance systems, especially when the burden of the disease is lower and cases are more dispersed.
  • The call for real-time digital data to enable local administrations to plan interventions more effectively.
  • Acknowledgment of existing challenges and the necessity to overcome them to achieve the ambitious goal of malaria elimination by 2030.

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