Malaria on decline in India, half a million die globally

MalariaGENEVA: India has seen a “major” decline in the number of deaths caused by Malaria in the last three years even as more than half a million people die globally of the deadly mosquito-borne disease, the WHO said.

Malaria killed 584,000 people across the world in 2013 with children under five accounting for at least three-fourths of those deaths, it said.
However, global incidence of malaria has plunged 30 per cent and mortality rates have fallen 40 per cent between 2000 and 2013.
“The incidence of malaria decreased 30 per cent globally, the mortality rates by 40 per cent globally between 2000 and 2013,” said Richard Cibulskis, Coordinator, Strategy, Economics and Elimination, WHO Global Malaria Program.

“The data that we have received suggests major decreases in the incidence of malaria in the last three years in India.

The key will be those populations that are hardest to reach will be reached or not,” Cibulskis added.
He said if states like Odisha and other eastern states, where malaria is very intensely transmitted, are compared with others there is a “huge difference”.

“For some states transmission is almost as intense as some parts of Africa and where cases and deaths will be concentrated on children under five is just like in sub- Saharan Africa,” Cibulskis told PTI.
“It is particularly difficult to control because it is focused on tribal population where you don’t have access to health facilities. The government has expanded its Asha program so its much better access has increased the outreach,” he added.

As per the WHO statistics for 2013, the working number for deaths due to malaria in India is 28,000 but could be as high as 46,000 per year. -PTI

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