Malaria Cases in India Reduce by 24% in 2017, Odisha Leads the Campaign
Mosquitos are cause of most human deaths (Photo credits: Pixabay, 41330)

New Delhi, November 20:  India has registered a 24% reduction in malaria cases in 2017 over 2016, a World Health Organisation (WHO) malaria report stated. The WHO report further states that the decline is largely due to substantial declines of the disease in the highly malarious state of Odisha, which is home to approximately 40% of all malaria cases in the country. "India – a country that represents 4% of the global malaria burden – recorded a 24% reduction in cases in 2017 compared to 2016", the WHO report said.

On Monday, the WHO, in its report stated that India is the only country to have recorded a substantial decline in malaria cases in 2017 out of the 11 highest burden countries worldwide. According to the report, India accounted for 4 percent of global malaria cases in 2017 and has made significant progress in bringing down its malaria burden since. Delhi: 109 Malaria, 56 Dengue Cases So Far This Year. 

The report stated that the success factors for the reduction of the vector-borne disease include rejuvenated political commitment, strengthened technical leadership. These factors together focused on prioritizing the right mix of vector control measures, and increased levels of domestic funding to back efforts, the report noted.

The WHO report added saying that a notable aspect of Odisha's approach is its network of Accredited Social Health Activists, or ASHAs. The report stated that these activists worked particularly in rural and remote areas and served as front-line workers to deliver essential malaria services across the state.

The report states that in 2017, approximately 70% of all malaria cases (151 million) and deaths (274 000) were concentrated in 11 countries: 10 in Africa (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania) and India.  The World malaria report 2018 draws on data from 91 countries and areas with ongoing malaria transmission. The information is supplemented by data from national household surveys and databases held by other organizations.

In August, the state government of Odisha had signed an MoU with two US-based agencies to eradicate malaria from the state. The two agencies - 'Malaria No More' and 'Malaria Elimination Trust' - would help the state government prepare a strategy on how to overcome the disease, Health and Family Welfare Minister Pratap Jena had said.