What is the issue ?
- Stating the fact that more cases of malaria had been reported in 2017 than the previous year, the WHO said that the fight against malaria had stalled.
Key take-aways from WHO's report :
- The latest WHO report showed that the number of malaria cases climbed to 219 million last year, two million higher than 2016, while international funding has declined.
- Malaria occurs in 91 countries but about 90% of the cases and deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Foreign funding to some of the most affected countries has declined, in certain instances by more than 20 percent for every individual at risk of contracting the disease.
- The disease killed 4,35,000 people last year, the majority of them children under five in Africa.
- Another constraint in fighting malaria has been mosquitoes building up resistance to some insecticides, it said.
- Most malaria cases reported last year were in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, India, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.
Data on India :
- India recorded nearly 24% decline in cases in a year between 2016 and 2017, the only one among the 11 highest-burden countries to achieve so, says the latest World Malaria Report.
- However, with 4% of the global cases, India continues to account for the highest malaria burden outside sub-Saharan Africa.
India's fight against malaria :
India plans to eliminate malaria by 2027, three years ahead of the global target and has also formulated an action plan to focus on awareness, entomological surveillance in vulnerable areas, use of diagnostic kits to identify malaria parasite and an outbreak warning system.
According to latest figures available with the health ministry’s National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, till September this year, 2,76,488 cases of malaria were reported in the country, whereas mortality declined to double digit at 29 deaths till two months ago. Globally, there were an estimated 219 million cases of malaria in 2017, whereas deaths reached 4,35,000 in the same year.
In India, three states - Odisha, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal which account for a major burden of malaria cases – reported a substantial decrease. For instance, malaria cases in Odisha declined by almost 1 lakh between 2016 and 2017, whereas the deaths dropped from 77 in 2016 to 24 in 2017. In 2018, the eastern state recorded only 4 deaths from malaria till September.
What the WHO plans on doing in future :
- WHO said it was embarking on new ways to scale up the battle against one of the world's deadliest diseases.
- The plan includes countryled projects to “jumpstart aggressive” control efforts.
About malaria :
1. Caused by: Parasitic protozoan of plasmodium type.
2. Occurrence: Endemic around the equatorial belt
Malaria is an acute febrile illness. In a non-immune individual, symptoms usually appear 10–15 days after the infective mosquito bite. The first symptoms – fever, headache, and chills– may be mild and difficult to recognize as malaria. If not treated within 24 hours, P. falciparum malaria can progress to severe illness, often leading to death.
Children with severe malaria frequently develop one or more of the following symptoms: severe anaemia, respiratory distress in relation to metabolic acidosis, or cerebral malaria. In adults, multi-organ involvement is also frequent. In malaria endemic areas, people may develop partial immunity, allowing asymptomatic infections to occur.
4. System of body effected: After maturing in liver, merozoit form of malaria parasites is released in blood, few thousand to millions in number. Through blood they reach everywhere in body.
5. Vector: Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites. The parasites are spread to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, called "malaria vectors."
6. Vaccine available: Yes, they partially prevent the occurence. Full fledged vaccines are still under trial.
7. Transmission: In most cases, malaria is transmitted through the bites of female Anophelesmosquitoes. There are more than 400 different species of Anopheles mosquito; around 30 are malaria vectors of major importance. All of the important vector species bite between dusk and dawn. The intensity of transmission depends on factors related to the parasite, the vector, the human host, and the environment.