ODISHA REDUCED MALARIA CASES IN RECENT YEARS
What’s in news?
From 4,36,850 malaria cases reported in 2015, Odisha had 66,301 cases reported in 2018, an 85-per cent reduction, giving the eastern coastal state the honour of reporting the highest reduction in the cases across the country, according to data from the Health Ministry’s National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme.
Climate change in vector-borne diseases:
- With increasing temperatures can acutely impact transmission of vector-borne diseases in India that haunts many life.
- The study, titled, ‘Climate change and public health: a study of vector‐borne diseases in Odisha, India’ was published in the Natural Hazards Journal.
- In this study, it is found that,
- In respect to Climate change: It is rapidly having an impact on the spread of vector-borne diseases. While dengue, Japanese encephalitis and chikungunya, virtually unknown in the Odisha until the past decade, are rapidly increasing and the season conducive for the spread of such diseases has been extending to virtually half the year.
- In respect to no. of heat wave days: The analysis indicates an increase in number of heat wave days in the month of June in recent years, which may be an indicator of gradual shift of monsoon season in Odisha. The results also indicate that vector-borne disease conducive season extends from July till November, nearly half of the year.
- Further, the dengue and chikungunya are more prevalent in coastal districts, whereas malaria and JE have been experienced in interior districts.
- For instance, the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program (NVBDCP) reported an increase of dengue cases by 46% (from 99,913 in 2015 to 188,401 in 2017). This has a distinct parallel in Odisha, where these VBDs hadn’t been reported until the past decade.
- Cases of JE in India has almost doubled in the past five years (from 7,825 to 13,672 during 2013-18). Dengue has seen a similar increase. It was in 2010 that Odisha first reported 29 cases of dengue. By 2018, this number had jumped to 5,198. Until 2013, Odisha was among the eight states in India that had not reported even a single case of JE.
- Surveying the period between March 2015 and March 2019, this year’s Economic Survey also stated that “malaria cases improved significanty after the implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).
The Survey states that Odisha brought about the highest reduction in malaria cases among children below five years but also notes that “major focus of SBM has been on making villages Open Defecation Free (ODF)”
How the state showed progress?
- The state government relies on a three-step project to keep malaria in check, executed by 47,147 ASHAs trained in diagnosing and monitoring malaria treatment.
- DAMAN (Duragama Anchala Re Malaria Nirakaran) or controlling malaria in remote locations, as part of which mass screenings are organised twice (April-June, and September-October) a year at ‘malaria camps’ in these areas.
- Under DAMAN, the entire population of these areas undergoes a malaria test, irrespective of whether one has fever or malaria symptoms. Indoor residual spray method is used, in which a residual insecticide is applied to inner walls and ceilings of houses so that malaria vectors come in contact with the insecticide.