The government today launched a national strategic plan for elimination of malaria and pledged to eradicate the vector-borne disease by 2027. The strategic plan gives year-wise elimination targets in various parts of the country depending upon the endemicity of malaria in the next five years. Speaking at the launch, Union Health Minister J P Nadda said that the government would like to eliminate malaria by 2027 and urged the states to own the programme and sought their active cooperation for its successful implementation.
Recalling the launch of the National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) last year, Nadda stated that NFME outlined India’s commitment for eliminating malaria by 2030. “Today we are here for the launch of the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination (2017-22) which gives strategies for working towards the ultimate goal of elimination of malaria by 2030,” Nadda elaborated.
The minister further said that the National Strategic Plan is for five years and requested the programme officers to work with a strategy and follow the operational guidelines laid down in the plan. He further said that “encouraging results have been achieved in northeast India and our efforts are now focused in other states such as Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram and Tripura which is 90 per cent of the malaria burden of the country”.
The salient features of the NSP include containment of breeding, strengthening malaria surveillance, establishing a mechanism for early detection and prevention of outbreaks of malaria, promoting the prevention of malaria by the use of Long Lasting Impregnated Nets (LLINs), effective indoor residual spray and augmenting the manpower and capacities for effective implementation for the next five years.
“Intersectoral coordination is the key, we have to work together with the other ministries and municipal corporations to achieve the desired results,” Nadda added. Dr Suchaxaya Prakin, acting WHO representative to India said that today’s development is an important step in the direction of global efforts for elimination of malaria in various countries.
She informed that one child dies of malaria every two minutes and the burden is the heaviest in the African region. India has the third highest malaria burden in the world. She stressed on harnessing innovation and research along with monitoring.