India Needs to Focus on Prevention of Malaria: WHO Experts

by Thilaka Ravi on  June 2, 2008 at 1:25 PM Tropical Disease News   - G J E 4
 India Needs to Focus on Prevention of Malaria: WHO Experts
World Health Organization experts are asking India to focus more on the preventive aspects of malaria rather than plodding on with the treatment of the disease.

India needs to root out the micro killer by adopting effective means of preventing malaria. As of now, the battle against the mosquito menace is fully concentrated on treating the disease.

Anti-malaria projects have come to mean developing and procuring enough effective kits for testing for malaria parasites and anti-malarial drugs to treat affected and susceptible populations in malaria-prone areas in India.

India is still struggling to control mosquito-borne diseases like malaria in spite of major US fund allocation of $ 97,600 for malaria control and Kala Azar programs under biennium 2006-2007 of the WHO and around US $827,764 received in India from other donors, funding agencies and partner sources (as on 31 August 2007). 

Sources at the WHO India office are of the opinion that the inappropriate malaria treatment policy of the Indian government is one of the reasons that the malaria menace is still rampant in the country.

Now, thankfully most agencies working with the anti-malaria mission are moving towards devising better preventive measures to stop the spread of both malarial vector and parasites. The Union ministry of health and family welfare has joined hands with WHO to accelerate the drive to control the menace.

Dr Jai P Narain, director, Communicable Diseases and Surveillance department of WHO said, "It must, however, adopt an integrated approach to come out a winner against this vector-borne disease."

"An integrated approach acquires significance in the current scenario because the global warming-triggered climate change is not only adversely affecting human populations in myriad ways but is also giving rise to newer drug-resistant strains of plasmodium, the malarial parasite," he added.

What magnifies the problem is the growth of mosquitoes now, in areas that were previously devoid of the vector.

Geographical malaria seems to be on the rise. Places like Kulu and Manali that had no reports of the disease earlier are now coming up on the malaria map.

Source: Medindia

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