- Globally, 21 malaria-endemic countries account for approximately 32 million cases of malaria each year and 47,000 associated deaths.
- Over the past 15 years, driven by the Millennium Development Goals, Asia and the Pacific countries reduced the number of malaria cases and associated deaths by almost half.
- Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) affirmed their conviction that malaria can be eliminated in India, and across the Asia Pacific region as a whole, by 2030.
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to human beings by female anopheles. Malaria thrives in dirty environment, thus cleaning the surroundings is very important to get rid of the disease.
On World Malaria Day, the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) affirmed their conviction that malaria can be eliminated in India, and across the Asia Pacific region as a whole, by 2030.
The united effort has been extremely successful in reducing the disease's impact but eliminating the final case of malaria is critical to sustain what has been achieved.
"We believe that we can win the fight against malaria. However, we must not lose focus in Asia and the Pacific and particularly in India where the malaria burden remains a significant weight on families, communities, national economies and national health systems."
Bridging the Prevention Gap
The Intense scale-up of interventions in Asia and the Pacific, including greater access to medicines, distribution of bed nets and better screening and diagnosis, has already averted more than 80 million cases and over 100,000 associated deaths since 2000.
However, some 2 billion people in the region remain at risk of infection. India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea bear the largest burden of the disease and largest number of people at risk and affected. Together they account for 89% of all remaining malaria cases in the region.
Thanks to ground-breaking drug therapies and a range of preventative and control measures, the number of malaria cases has fallen significantly in recent years in most malaria-endemic countries. But growing drug resistance has raised the potential spectre of rising malaria-related deaths, serious economic impacts and human suffering.
"Drug resistant malaria is a health crisis that could drastically impact the hard-fought success achieved in the fight against this disease" said Dr Benjamin Rolfe, APLMA's Executive Director.
"If the most important treatment for malaria becomes ineffective we will surely see a devastating rise in malaria mortality. Mostly amongst children."
The goal of achieving an Asia Pacific region that is free of malaria by 2030 is on track - six countries including Malaysia and China are working to eliminate malaria by 2020, with 11 countries by 2025 and the full 22 endemic countries, including India, projected to eliminate malaria by 2030.
Facts on Malaria
- Asia and the Pacific carry the second highest burden of the disease outside of Africa.
- The incidence of malaria in India was 0.08% in a population of nearly 1.25 billion.
- Malaria is endemic in India with approximately 14% of the population or 184 million people in India at high risk of malaria Transmission.
- In the last 10 years, new malaria cases declined by 42% and a 40.8% decline in malaria related deaths.
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare have made a framework to eliminate malaria nationally by the year 2030. From the beginning of the 21st century, India has demonstrated significant achievements in malaria control with a progressive decline in total cases and deaths.
Contributing to malaria prevention work of the Government, Jubilant Bhartia Foundation undertook the following activities as a part of the Prime Minister's Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.
- Construction and renovation of toilets in its project schools (Government Primary Schools).
- Development of a kit comprising of badges and board game snake & ladders based on the theme of 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan' for the project schools. A hand-book on do's and don'ts has also been developed by the foundation for proper understanding of the concept with pictures.
Jubilant under the same project has also developed 'Eco Club' in each project schools to promote good hygiene practices to combat water & air borne diseases (including Malaria) and a care towards environment.
A continued effort from political leaders of all levels and adequate funding to develop new tools, drugs for disease prevention will be needed to end the disease once and for all.