Maharashtra accounted for the highest number of dengue deaths in the country and ranked fifth in the list of states in terms of malaria deaths in the last four years. Together, the number of deaths due to these vector-borne diseases account for 12 percent of the total deaths due to the two diseases across the country, as per Health ministry data.
Alarming as it may sound, Maharashtra receives less than 2 percent from the vector-borne disease fund allocation by the central government. According to a report by Hindustan Times, the data by the ministry states that Maharashtra received Rs 6.02 crore fund in 2015-16, in the year 2016-17, this amount was increased to Rs 13.2 crore but decreased to Rs 7.06 crore in 2017-18. When asked, public health department officials denied the fact that Maharashtra was being ignored, adding that the state already has ample economic resources to plan and implement vector control programmes.
As per Union health ministry statistics, in the last four years, the state has recorded the highest number of dengue deaths in the country, and Maharashtra also ranks fifth when it comes to the list of states with the highest number of malaria deaths. From the year 2015 to 2018, the state of Maharashtra has recorded a total of 104 malaria death cases and 97 dengue deaths cases.
While talking about the high number of deaths, state officials said that the casualties could be high because of numerous tertiary level medical facilities of the state where the critical cases from neighbouring states are high. A public health official said that hospitals like Nair, KEM in Mumbai and Sasoon in Pune have a high number of dengue and malaria cases that come from other states. He added that the cases from other states come at a time when the person is in its most critical stage and the chances of survival are minimal.