New Delhi: India witnessed an 85.1-per cent decline in malaria cases and an 83.36-per cent decline in deaths caused by the disease from 2015 to 2022, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Monday (April 24). Malaria is not just a public health issue but also a social, economic and political challenge that requires the cooperation of all the stakeholders, Dr. Mandaviya said while virtually addressing the Asia Pacific Leaders’ Conclave on Malaria Elimination in the presence of Tripura Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha, Mizoram’s Health Minister Dr R Lalthamgliana, NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr V K Paul and Dr Poonam Khetrepal, Regional Director, WHO-SEARO.
India was the only high-burden, high-impact country in the South-East Asia region to report a decline in malaria cases in 2020 as compared to 2019. India witnessed an 85.1-per cent decline in malaria cases and an 83.36-per cent decline in deaths during 2015-2022, Dr. Mandaviya said.
Lauding the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said the prime minister was among the global leaders who endorsed the malaria elimination roadmap of the Asia-Pacific Leaders Alliance at the East Asia Summit in 2015, which galvanised the region in striving to become malaria-free by 2030.
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On the significant challenge posed by malaria, particularly to the marginalised and vulnerable communities, Dr. Mandaviya said
A rejuvenated political commitment and a strengthened technical leadership will play a monumental role in eradicating malaria from the world.
Citing the transformational impact of the country’s health initiatives, such as the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres and the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, as well as the substantial role of its healthcare workers, he said,
India is committed to sharing our resources, knowledge and learnings with other countries in our endeavour to eliminate malaria.
Dr Culwick Togamana, Minister of Health and Medical Services, Solomon Islands, Dr Antonio Lalabalavu, Minister of Health and Medical Services, Republic of Fiji, Prof. Dr Dante Saksoni Harbuwono, Vice Minister of Health, Republic of Indonesia, Dr Zaliha Binti Mustafa, Minister of Health, Malaysia, Dr Mao Tan Eang, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Health, Kingdom of Cambodia, Dr Champa Aluthweera, Director, Anti-Malaria Campaign, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, Dr Chuman Lal Das, Director, Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, Ministry of Health, Nepal, and Dr Moh Moh Lwin, National Director, Myanmar, were also present at the conclave.
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NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.