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ICMR to study large number of malaria deaths in northeast

A team of experts from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) would study the virulent form of malaria that has claimed a large number of lives in northeastern states, an official said here Wednesday.

Agartala: A team of experts from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) would study the virulent form of malaria that has claimed a large number of lives in northeastern states, an official said here Wednesday.

A team of ICMR experts is now visiting Tripura to study why malaria has caused the large number of deaths in the state, a Tripura health department official said here.

He said: "A similar team of experts would also visit other northeastern states affected by malaria."

The ICMR experts after visiting the states of northeastern region would analyse the cause of the malarial deaths and "also suggest possible preventive measures to the concerned state governments," the official added.

The official said that during the months of June and July this year, over 90 people, mostly children, died and over two lakh fell ill because of malaria.

According to a report of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), over 80 people have died from malaria in Meghalaya this year.

The Tripura government tackled the situation on a war-footing. Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and Health and Family Welfare Minister Badal Choudhury personally supervised the operation.

Experts from NVBDCP and Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), an independent international medical humanitarian organisation, had visited the malaria-affected areas in Tripura and provided necessary guidance to the state health department.

"The MSF has extended help by providing medicines and expertise to deal with malaria outbreak in Tripura," Choudhury told IANS.

All the northeastern states, besides West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka, are highly malaria-prone.

Over 100 people die every year from the disease in the seven northeastern states, excluding Sikkim.

According to NVBDCP, malaria claimed 1,018 lives in 2010 in India, 754 in 2011, 519 in 2012, 440 in 2013, and 350 so far this year.

From Zee News

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