Malaria has claimed 24 lives in Meghalaya's Garo Hills region bordering Assam and Bangladesh this year, state's Health minister E D Marak told the assembly today.
Replying to a calling attention notice by Manas Chaudhuri (IND), Marak said the death toll in Garo Hills had gone up this year and 24 deaths were reported till June.
Assam reported high number of deaths and most of the places affected in Garo Hills were bordering the neighbouring state and Bangladesh, he said.
Claiming that the prevalence of the disease was 'on the decline and under control'in Garo hills due to action taken by the department and the authorities of East and West Garo Hills districts, Marak said the government would keep a close watch to avoid recurrence of the disease.
The minister said due to 'late receipt' of central funds, there was a delay in payment of the DDT spray workers who 'refused' to work in August 2005 for that. But soon after receiving the money, they started working from October last.
The minister said there was no scarcity of medicine as the Centre provided them free of cost.