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There is need for additional tools, measures for malaria elimination, says health ministry official

ANI | Updated: Aug 20, 2021 23:39 IST

New Delhi [India], August 20 (ANI): On the occasion of World Mosquito Day, Principal Advisor of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Dr PK Sen said that there is a need for additional tools and measures for malaria elimination across different settings.
Today, "Malaria No More" launched workshop series addressing important advocacy and technical themes. The first workshop of the series is a cross-functional discussion on India's march towards Malaria Elimination by 2030, its challenges, and opportunities.
In 2020, 63 people died due to malaria across India. Although this was a drastic decrease compared to 2014 when malaria led to 562 deaths in the country, it is still a disease with vast implications on life in the country, as per an official release.
In fact, according to a study by the World Health Organization, vector-borne diseases like malaria cost India between three and four billion dollars each year.
As the current National Strategic Plan is nearing its end, "Malaria No More"- a not for profit organization, aims to use the workshop series as a forum for discourse on trivial topics to contribute to the conceptualization and inception of the penultimate National Strategic Plan (2022-2027) to keep in line with the ultimate goal to completely eradicate malaria by 2030.
Speaking on the occasion of World Mosquito Day, Dr PK Sen, Principal Advisor, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said, "Initiatives like distribution of long-lasting insecticidal nets among others have been crucial in India's fight against malaria. However, there is a need for additional tools and measures to take the next steps for malaria elimination across different settings that have cross cutting issues."
"We need to collaborate on cross border initiatives and at the same time work towards universal health coverage. The key elements for malaria elimination include advocacy for social, financial and political commitment, development of partnerships, managerial competency and operational precision with transparent and accountable public health leadership, and universal health coverage that is affordable and accessible," said Sen.
The very first workshop in the series focuses on the challenges and opportunities in India's path towards malaria elimination.
Commenting on the launch of the workshop series and the report, Dr Kaushik Sarkar, Interim Country Director of "Malaria No More" India said, "India's progress against malaria is historic and we are now close to the last leg. Our report 'India's march towards Malaria Elimination by 2030: Challenges and Opportunities' highlights some of the most critical challenges that confront us. While the report is not a prescription, it is an invite for all stakeholders to come together to find potential solutions and work together to help accelerate malaria elimination in the country."
In India, Malaria puts a population of about 1.26 billion at risk creating an estimated economic burden of 1.9 billion dollars. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) World Malaria report 2020, India contributed to the largest absolute reductions in the WHO South-East Asia Region, from about 20 million cases in 2000 to about 5.6 million in 2019.
"Malaria No More" is committed to supporting India's 2030 malaria elimination goal. "Malaria No More" through its work continues to influence national and global leaders and agendas and aids in securing new funding, and galvanizing action on malaria. Through this workshop series, they aim to create conversations with key stakeholders around the need for accelerated efforts towards Malaria elimination in India. (ANI)