Bhubaneswar: A declaration by the American healthcare organisation ‘Abbott’ regarding its support to the joint partnership between the government of Odisha and ‘Malaria No More’ was made at a city hotel Friday.
Abbott, in its announcement, stated that it would be providing financial aid of Rs 5.2 crore over three years to ‘Malaria No More’, 1 million rapid diagnostics tests (RDTs) and its technical expertise to define and support a complete malaria-elimination strategy that can be followed by other states too.
According to a recent WHO report, India ranks fourth in malaria burden in the world. With a population of about 42 million, Odisha accounted for about 40 per cent of the cases, about one-third of Southeast Asia’s.
Speaking at the meet, Health Minister Pratap Jena said, “In 2017-18 we have managed to reduce malaria cases up to 84 per cent. Twenty-four deaths were reported due to the disease in past three years, while only three cases were reported this year.”
Jena’s facts could be corroborated from the WHO reports that also stated India as the only country to report a reduction of 24 per cent cases during the same period among the 11 highest-burden countries.
“This is a significant achievement which has been possible due innovative methods and with support of about 47,000 accredited social health activists (ASHAs) who reached the vulnerable citizens with rapid diagnostic tests and other life-saving malaria interventions in remotest areas.” Jena added.
Attributing the state’s success in eradicating malaria to the one-of-its-kind Durgama Anchalare Malaria Nirakaran (DAMaN) programme, Hara Prasad Pattnaik, director of health services said that the a complete elimination of the disease is targeted by 2030.
“We have implemented a number of sub programs under DAMaN. Distribution of 1.3 crores long lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets has proved a major milestone. We are also making progress in identifying pregnant women for malaria in advance,” Pattnaik said.
Welcoming the move, Martin Edlund, CEO for Malaria No More said that the state government’s partnership and Abbot’s support will help bringing innovative strategies and improve data and surveillance that will have a greater impact against the disease.