Hunga Ram Kashyap, the 12-year-old had malaria at least twice since 2015.
The PLOS One has registered the case history of the boy. Dr Sanjay Basak, the district malaria officer of Bastar district, told that it is common to detect two strain of the parasite but detecting four was rare.
"The RD kit we used at the clinic could read two types of malaria bacteria — plasmodium of falciparum and vivax — and said 'mixed' if there were more types. We immediately started the boy on medicines for the two strands of malaria that we detected and kept him at the Darbha clinic, which has a few beds. Fortunately, he recovered after a week and was sent back to the hostel," Basak said.
Earlier in 2017, Hungra was taken, with extreme fever and weakness, to a hospital in the Jagdalpur district headquarters. He was not taken to the NIRTH centre and so the presence of multiple parasites in his bloodstream was not confirmed.
M L Kacchi, the principal of the government boys' school where Hunga studies, says, "Every week, one child or the other from here is admitted to the hospital with malaria. Even the teachers fall ill very often. There is not much we can do except get them treatment on time."
R Prasanna, Director, National Health Mission for Chhattisgarh, acknowledges that the problem in Bastar has lasted a while, and says they are now adopting another approach.
"The mosquito is only the carrier (of the parasite). Until two years ago, we were only attacking the mosquito, attempting to kill it. But now we are attacking the parasite through mass screenings and treatments, even when there are no symptoms of fever. We have also distributed RD kits across villages," he says.