Health dept taking precautionary measures to prevent Malaria
• Health officials are undertaking door-to-door survey and blood slide collection to prevent rise in malaria cases
• With the onset of monsoons, department is taking preparedness measures to combat the disease
• Officials are also organising awareness meetings in different parts of the districts
• These meetings are undertaken by Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers, health workers and the DMO
• Assam contributes more than 5% of the country’s total malaria cases and over 20% of the total malaria deaths in India annually
• Humidity and a relatively warmer climate further promote the breeding of the vectors
Health officials are focussing on door-to-door survey and blood slide collection in order to prevent rise in the number of malaria cases in the city.
With the onset of the monsoon season, the state health & family welfare department authorities are on their toes to ensure efficient preparedness to combat the disease.
Nanda Choudhury, District Malaria Officer of Kamrup (Metro) district said that apart from conducting door-to-door survey, the officials are also organising awareness meetings in different parts of the district.
“These meetings are aimed at making people aware about the precautionary measures which need to be taken to prevent the vector-borne disease,” he informed.
He further added that these meetings are undertaken by Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers, health workers as well as the district malaria officer.
Malaria is a vector-borne disease which is transmitted among humans via mosquitoes and insects. It is caused by Plasmodium parasite and some of its symptoms include fever, chills, vomiting, headache, seizures and sweating combined with a loss in red blood cells.
According to a study on malaria, Assam contributes more than 5% of the country’s total malaria cases. Additionally, the state also accounts for over 20% of the total malaria deaths in the country annually.
Experts say that the inaccessibility of health services in the remote areas of the state result in more number of cases being reported in the state. Additionally, humidity and a relatively warmer climate further promote the breeding of the vectors.
“We are making efforts to ensure that the health services reach maximum people and to sensitise the masses about various vector-borne diseases including Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya and Japanese Encephalities,” said Nilim Bora, Consultant (Planning), National Health Mission.
Further, the peak transmission season for the disease is usually from April to September which corresponds to the rainy season.
Officials of the state health & family welfare department informed G Plus that on the occasion of World Malaria Day on April 25, authorities organised an awareness programme in a high school in Sonapur.
“The programme consisted of quiz competitions, awareness rally and other activities based on the theme of malaria,” said Choudhury.
Malaria incidences showing declining trend in Assam
According to the figures of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), the malaria situation in the state has shown a consistent decline in the number of registered cases.
As per the NVBDCP data, 19,542 cases of malaria were registered in 2013 in the state. While 14,540 were recorded in 2014, 15,557 in 2015, 7,826 in 2016 and 5,473 cases were recorded till December 2017.
Authorities have maintained that Kamrup (Metro) district has also followed suit. “We have seen a remarkable decrease in the number of malaria cases being recorded from the district,” informed Nanda Choudhury, District Malaria Officer of Kamrup (Metro).
He added that this year no positive cases have been detected in the district till now.
As part of the intervention measures, the department has also started distributing long lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN) in the district. Officials informed that this was part of the ongoing activities to combat the disease. These mosquito nets are considered as one of the most effective ways to prevent malaria.
NVBDCP recommends a few strategies which can be used to control malaria. These include early case detection and prompt treatment, under the programme drug distribution centres and fever treatment depots have been established in the rural areas for easy access to drugs.
Further, under chemical treatment, indoor residual spray with insecticides, aerosol spray during day time and Malathion fogging during outbreak is recommended under the programme. Under the environmental management measures, source reduction and filling of breeding places is recommended apart from proper covering of stored water and channelization of breeding source.