India has made remarkable progress in its fight against malaria, Heath Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said Monday, as he called for greater community participation and use of technology to eliminate the vector-borne disease by 2030.
“Our efforts have resulted in 86.45% decline in malaria cases and 79.16% reduction in malaria-related deaths in 2021, as compared to 2015. This is a major step towards our goal of eliminating malaria but still more needs be done to fulfil the dream,” Mandaviya said in his address to mark the World Malaria Day.
The Health Minister said 124 districts in the country have reported “zero” malaria cases. The number is short of the target set by the National Strategic Plan for Malaria elimination 2017, which aimed at having 448 districts to be declared malaria-free with an annual parasite index of less than 1.
The annual parasite index is the number of confirmed malaria cases per 1,000 population.
Calling for intensified efforts at the national and the sub-national level, Mandaviya said there is a need for frontline health workers such as ASHA and ANM to raise awareness about diagnosis and treatment of the disease, and preventive measures.
“Not only diagnosis and treatment, swachhta (hygiene) in our personal and community surroundings and social awareness regarding malaria control and prevention are equally important in our collective fight,” he said.
And technology could help in developing “tailor-made solutions”, he said.
“As we move ahead with innovative technology use, India’s ‘e-sanjeevani’ has shown the path for tele-consultation and tele-referencing, which are being widely used at the round levels for diagnosis and treatment of various problems, including malaria,” he added.