Malaria to vanish from 15 Indian states in next three years
The government has asserted that states like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and union territories including Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and Puducherry will be free from malaria.
New Delhi: As per a statement issued by the government, malaria will be eliminated from at least 15 states in the country in another three years, i:e by 2020.
"By 2020 we will be able to eliminate malaria from 15 states with an annual parasite incidence (API) of less than one case per thousand population. We are sure to eliminate malaria from these states by 2020," Dr AC Dhariwal, Director of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) in the health ministry, told PTI.
He asserted that states like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and union territories including Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and Puducherry will be free from malaria.
He, however, mentioned certain districts in Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura as malaria transmission risk areas.
"The API in some of these areas are more than two per thousand population. In some areas the scenario is worse like more than ten," he said.
In fact, a couple of districts in West Bengal were considered to be risk areas where the API was two per thousand people, he said.
"Some districts of Meghalaya and Tripura having borders with Bangladesh are also places where malaria is still a threat," Dhariwal stated.
The overall situation in India, however, has improved compared to what it was in the last century, he said.
"There has been a decline not only in the number of cases of malaria incidence but also in the number of deaths because of the disease. It's mainly because of the efforts of Bivalent Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) tests," he said.
(With PTI inputs)