World Malaria Day
India has set a target of being malaria-free by 2027 and eliminating the disease by 2030, however, the huge gap in the number of cases in rural and urban Nagpur, raises a question on the effectiveness of the programme and public participation.
Noted that in year 2017 the malaria cases notified to health department at Nagpur rural were 113, in 2018 it was 74 and in 2019, till now, a total number of 24 cases have been registered.
It may be noted that Nagpur rural comprised of 14 tehsils; Narkhed, Kamptee, Ramtek, Kalmeshwar, Katol etc.
Each year, the cases of malaria has gone down collectively with disease burden declining by 59 per cent (2.03 million cases in 2000 to 0.84 million in 2017) and deaths due to the disease by 89 per cent (932 in 2000 to 103 in 2017), in India.
Whereas, as far as Nagpur urban is considered, in 2017 around 18 cases were recorded, in 2018 the cases were 14 and this only 4 malaria cases have been noticed till now. This is almost six times higher as compared to rural. While, the effectiveness of the programme is rapid in urban area, the process is slower in rural.
To this, well known city physician, Dr Pinak Dande says that lack of awareness is the major issue in rural part.
“The good part is that India and Nagpur as well, has made significant progress in reducing the incidence of the disease. But, to make any programme successful, there is immense need of public participation into it”, he stated.
It should be noted that 1.25 billion Indians remain at the risk of this mosquito-borne infectious disease.
Also. as per the study published in healthcare journal The Lancet, majority of deaths and malaria cases were recorded in rural areas, of which 86 per cent occurred at home without any medical attention. The areas in Nagpur rural are still uncleaned with corporation not paying much attention there.
Dr Dande says that people have this tendency to leave everything on government. “Before thinking about cleaning the city, people should first put efforts on cleaning their house and its surrounding. In rural areas, there is a major problem of cleanliness and awareness”, he added.