On the occasion of the World Malaria Day 2015, which is observed annually on April 25, health minister Tsering Wangchuk revealed that a total of 197 malaria cases were reported from Tibetan settlements across India in 2014. While 170 cases were reported from Phuntsokling in Orissa, the rest were from Mainpat in Chhattisgarh, Choepheling and Tezu Dargeyling in Arunachal Pradesh, Doeguling and Bylakupee in Karnataka and Samyeling in Delhi.
Wangchuk said, "Tackling malaria in the high endemic Tibetan settlements has been a major challenge over the years. Despite widespread health education on prevention and preventative measures, every year we still have a large number of cases reported in our settlements. In 2014, malaria was reported in seven Tibetan settlements. A needs assessment survey was conducted in 2013 by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University of the US in Tibetan settlements in India. It was found that people had good knowledge of preventative measures and on treatment options; however, people lacked the means through which they could get hold of tools for preventing themselves against malaria."
AdvertisementThe CTA's health department launched its malaria control project focusing mainly in Odisha, followed by Chhattisgarh and Arunachal Pradesh from 2012 to 2014. The project was funded by the Norwegian Church Aid and aimed at reducing the effects of malaria. Widespread awareness campaigns were held so that people can be educated and be safe against malaria. Wangchuk said, "This shows that we need to invest more in the future so that we can defeat malaria."