World Malaria Report 2017: India can’t reduce malaria by 2020 says World Health Organisation (WHO)

Looks like India won’t get much respite from malaria, even by 2020 according to WHO’s World Malaria Report released. It suggests that India may not be able to reduce its malaria burden by half by 2020. This shocking piece of information is just one among many such disconcerting ones released by the WHO report. Here are some dishonourable mentions India received in the report.

1 Of the 216 million cases of malaria that occurred worldwide in 2016, India accounts for 6 percent.

2 Seven percent of all the malaria-related deaths happened in India in 2016.

3 India and Nigeria reported having the most number of malaria cases in the world — eight percent and sixteen percent respectively.

4 India stands third in the list of 15 countries that contributed to 80 percent of the global malaria burden.

5 Among the Asian countries, India reported delivered the most number of insecticide-treated mosquito nets.

6 Apart from Nigeria, India holds the dubious distinction of having the weakest malaria surveillance system, detecting only 8 percent of the cases.

7 India was first among six countries — other than Ethiopia, India, Afghanistan, Indonesia and Pakistan — that reported 85 percent of vivax malaria cases. Do you have a malaria risk?

8 The first-line treatment in India Artemether and Lumefantrineand artesunate+sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (AL+SP). But India was the only country along with Bangladesh in South-East Asia region where three studies conducted in 2012 detected treatment failure rates of 12.1 percent, 17.3 percent and 21.4 percent with AS+SP.

Here’s how malaria is treated.

9 India recorded the most number of deaths in the Southeast Asian region.

While neighbouring countries like Maldives and Sri Lanka are malaria-free, India may not be able to reduce the disease burden more than 40 percent. Can this tulsi and neem mixture treat malaria? India efforts at eradicating malaria have fallen short owing to the country’s expansive topography and climate which facilitates the growth of disease-causing vectors. Other roadblocks include difficulties in control implementation and logistics, insecticide and antimalarial drug resistance.

Image source: Shutterstock

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