records highest number of malaria cases
It seems that Chhattisgarh Health Services cannot eliminate the cases of malaria completely in next three years as every year; State sees a rise in the case of this mosquito borne disease. In fact, this time Chhattisgarh outnumbered Odisha in cases of malaria and recorded the maximum number of cases of this mosquito bite disease in last five years across nation. Some of the districts saw a record of over 80% to 90% in cases of malaria. Along with malaria in other vector borne diseases such as Dengue, State registered a sharp rise in the cases and it is really an alarming situation for Health Department.
According to the information of National Vector Control Programme of Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Chhattisgarh recorded 56,022 cases of malaria in first six months of the current year 2017 (January 1 to June 30). On the other hand, Odisha which always report maximum cases of malaria every year amongst all other 29 states as well as 7 union territories reported 51,023 cases of malaria in this time duration. Meanwhile Jharkhand reported 47,025 cases of malaria in first six months of the current year 2017. Out of these 56,022, 180 people lost their lives too.
Last year (2016), Chhattisgarh reported 48,003 cases of malaria in first six months of the year and 92,054 cases of this vector borne disease throughout the year. In 2015 too, Chhattisgarh reported 46,022 cases of malaria in the current six months and 93,102 cases of malaria throughout the year. In 2014 and 2013, 42,022 and 41,532 cases of malaria respectively were reported at first six months of the year.
While Dengue virus is spread by Aedes Aegypti mosquito, that breeds in fresh water and malaria is spread by the anopheles mosquito than can breed in dirty water. Epidemiologists and senior doctors of vector borne diseases said high incidence of malaria is reflective of poor sanitation levels. It clearly indicates that people still ignore the storage of dirty water which is responsible for rising cases of malaria in rural as well as urban parts of the State.
‘Durg, Rajnandgaon and Kawardha recorded maximum cases of malaria followed by Raigarh, Jashpur, Surguja and Balrampur districts. The rest of the cases have been reported from districts of Bastar division consists of Bastar, Dantewada, Sukma, Bijapur, Narayanpur and Kanker’, stated Dr S Mandal, one of the senior medical officers of vector borne disease in the state health services and Dr S K Sahu, Epidemiologist.
The incidences of dengue which took to epidemic proportions in last two years and chikungunya are lower compared to malaria. At present, most of district administrations stated they have received reports of a rise of over 50% cases of malaria in the first six months of current year in comparison to previous year. Doctors said now rainfall has begun continuously and it may cause further increase in cases of all forms of mosquito borne diseases in the coming months and there is need for focused action and awareness initiative to prevent an outbreak.
As per report of World Health Organisation, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha account 65% of malaria cases across nation. Symptoms of malaria include fever, headache, chills and vomiting and usually appear 10 to 15 days after the mosquito bite. The Union Health Ministry launched its plan for elimination of malaria by 2020. But in Chhattisgarh it would become difficult task for both centre and state in Chhattisgarh to eliminate this disease in next five years completely.
When contacted, Subratoo Sahoo, Principal Secretary of the Chhattisgarh Health Services, he asserted that department is taking initiatives and it will be succeeded in controlling of it.