World Malaria Day is celebrated
each year on 25th
April. The theme for this year is "End Malaria for
‘Mosquito-borne diseases are a major cause of illness and deaths. Advances in treatment and taking precautionary measures against its spread can help combat malaria.’
Malaria for Good
Strong partnerships and
funds have resulted in the progress against malaria
in the past 15 years. In
India, tremendous success has been achieved under the
Millennium Development Goals. Malaria cases and deaths
have gone down by 60%
in India as well in other parts of the world. The idea now is
to sustain this reduction and move towards complete elimination of malaria,
just like smallpox or polio.
India had 1,102,205 confirmed malaria
cases in 2014 as against 8,81,730 in 2013 despite efforts at war footing. The
reported deaths have gone down from 754 in 2011 to 561 in 2014.
Malaria is a major
health public problem especially in South-East Asian and African countries.
Malaria is caused by a type of microscopic parasite known as Plasmodium
that is transmitted by a specific species of mosquitoes. Four Plasmodium
species cause malaria in humans. These include Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae.
The Plasmodium parasite
is spread by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. Malaria
symptoms include fever along with chills and sweating, severe fatigue, vomiting
and headaches. The most common antimalarial drugs include artemisinin
combination therapy, chloroquine
, quinine sulfate, hydroxychloroquine, mefloquine
Statistics and Facts
in Control of Malaria
and its Spread in India
year around 300-500 million cases of malaria are reported globally and more
than 1 million people die annually; a majority of them are young children.
- According to 2015
statistics, around 214 million cases are diagnosed globally and 438,000 malaria
deaths were reported.
this, about 90% of deaths occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa region (majority of
them were children under the age five).
India, in 2014, 1.1 million cases of malaria were detected of which, 0.72
million cases were of the deadly P.
Falciparum. 561 deaths were reported due to malaria and many went
- Malaria is
dangerous for pregnant women as the parasite can pass into the mother's womb
and infect the fetus as well.
malaria can be a deadly illness, malaria deaths can usually be prevented.
The Health Minister
launched the National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) 2016-2030, which outlines India's strategy to eliminate malaria by
2030. This program defines key strategic approaches such as:
The Objectives of the
NFME are to
phasing owing to the varying endemicity in the country
of States/UTs based on API (Annual Parasite Incidence. API =
(confirmed cases during 1 year/population under surveillance) x 1000) as
as the unit of planning and implementation
on high endemicity areas
strategy for Plasmodium vivax elimination
mosquito-borne disease from all low and moderate endemic states/UTs (26) by
incidence of malaria to less than 1/1000 population in all States/UTs and the
districts and malaria elimination in 31 states/UTs by 2024
- Interrupt indigenous
malaria transmission in all States/ UTs (Category 3) by 2027
- Prevent re-establishment
of local malaria transmission in areas where it is already eliminated and to achieve a malaria-free
status of the country by 2030
of this year, all states will have the Malaria
Elimination Planning Framework implemented. By the end of 2017,
all states should have cut down the API to under 1 per 1000
population. It is expected that by 2020, 15 states that are under the Category
1 of the malaria elimination program will have zero cases and malaria deaths.
India is to achieve an API>1 at state as well as district level by the
end of 2017.
Latest Research Update
on Malaria Vaccine
Under clinical trials, over 20 subunit vaccine
constructs are currently being evaluated or are already in the advanced
preclinical development phase. One of them is:
The malaria vaccine candidate RTS,S/AS01
is the foremost vaccine candidate against the deadly Plasmodium falciparum
parasite. A Phase III trial began in May 2009
in 2011 of 15,460 children in the 7 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The final
results were published last year in April.
Tips for Prevention
For prevention of malaria, following steps should be
- Take appropriate anti-malarial
medicines. The choice of anti-malarial drugs will be based on
your past medical history, age and other current medications.
- Avert mosquito bites by
sleeping under insecticide-treated or simple mosquito nets.
- Always be covered to
avoid mosquito bites
- wear socks, long pants, long-sleeved shirts and blouses.
- Spray mosquito repellents and apply repellent
lotions on exposed skin.
doors and windows are shut tight and screened with gauze or mesh
to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
women and small children must avoid traveling to malaria-endemic areas.
- It is necessary to check
with your family doctor or a travel clinic for anti-malarial medicines for the
country you are traveling to. Malaria treatment is challenging as malaria
parasites have grown increasingly drug-resistant.
P Melmane, S Shetty, D Gulati. A study of drug
resistance in malaria. JIACM 2014; 15(1): 9-12
Rational Use of Drugs and Correct Case Management in Basic Health Services
Published by UNICEF's Programme Division in cooperation with the World Health
Press Information Bureau Government of India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare 11-February-2016 15:47 IST
Fact sheet: The RTS,S
malaria vaccine candidate (MosquirixTM). GSK, July 2015