On the occasion of World Mosquito Day, Dr PK Sen, Principal Advisor of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that there is a need for additional tools and measures for malaria eradication across different settings.
Today, a workshop series called, “Malaria No More” launched which addresses important encouragement and technical themes for malaria. The first workshop of the series is a cross-functional discussion on India’s march towards Malaria Elimination by 2030, its challenges, and opportunities.
Around 63 people died due to malaria across the country in 2020. According to an official release, it was significant decrease as compared to 2014 when malaria led to 562 deaths in the country, it is still a disease with vast implications on life in the country.
In fact, a study by the World Health Organization also shows that vector-borne diseases like malaria cost India between three and four billion dollars each year.
Speaking on the occasion of World Mosquito Day, Dr PK Sen, Principal Advisor, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said, “Initiatives like distribution of long-lasting insecticidal nets among others have been crucial in India’s fight against malaria. However, there is a need for additional tools and measures to take the next steps for malaria elimination across different settings that have cross cutting issues.”
“We need to collaborate on cross border initiatives and at the same time work towards universal health coverage. The key elements for malaria elimination include advocacy for social, financial and political commitment, development of partnerships, managerial competency and operational precision with transparent and accountable public health leadership, and universal health coverage that is affordable and accessible,” said Sen.
The very first workshop in the series focuses on the challenges and opportunities in India’s path towards malaria elimination.
Observing on the launch of the workshop series and the report, Dr Kaushik Sarkar, Interim Country Director of “Malaria No More” India said, “India’s progress against malaria is historic and we are now close to the last leg. Our report ‘India’s march towards Malaria Elimination by 2030: Challenges and Opportunities’ highlights some of the most critical challenges that confront us. While the report is not a prescription, it is an invite for all stakeholders to come together to find potential solutions and work together to help accelerate malaria elimination in the country.”
About 1.26 billion population is at risk due to Malaria in a country like India according to the estimation of economic burden of 1.9 billion dollars. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) World Malaria report 2020, India contributed to the largest absolute decreases in the WHO South-East Asia Region, from about 20 million cases in 2000 to about 5.6 million in 2019.