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Fact box: National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination

The Union Health Ministry and Family Welfare for first time has unveiled National Strategic Plan (NSP) for Malaria Elimination (2017-22). It has set malaria elimination deadline as 2027, three years ahead of the global deadline.

The NSP is based on 2016 National Framework for Malaria Elimination framed with support of WHO’s Global Technical Strategy for Malaria, 2016-2030.

Features of the Plan

The NSP is a year-wise roadmap for malaria elimination across the country. The plan aims to achieve universal case detection and treatment services in malaria endemic districts to ensure 100% diagnosis of all suspected cases, and full treatment of all confirmed cases. It seeks to maintain a malaria-free status for areas where transmission has been interrupted.

Categorisation of Districts: The plan divides country into four categories, from 0 to 3 based on their annual parasite incidence (API). The first category, Zero has 75 districts having of API of malaria for the last three years. The Category 1 covers 448 districts, in which the API is less than 1 per 1,000 population.

The Category 2 covers 48 districts, in which API is one and above, but less than 2 per 1,000 population. The Category 3 covers 107 districts, in which API of two and above per 1,000 population.

Targets: The plan aims to eliminate malaria (zero indigenous cases) in all Category 1 and 2 districts by 2022. In Category 3, the target is bring remaining districts under a pre-elimination and elimination programme by 2022.

Four components, based on recommendations WHO: Diagnosis and case management; surveillance and epidemic response; prevention — integrated vector management; cross-cutting interventions, which include communication, advocacy, R&D and other initiatives.

Funding: The resources required for the elimination of malaria is around Rs 10,653.16 crore over a period of five years (2017-2022). These resources will be managed from government sources, international donors, and the corporate sector as part of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Significance: This is for the first time, the Union Health Ministry has come up with a roadmap for elimination of malaria in the country. Prior to it, effort was to “control” malaria under the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDC). The NSP lays down detailed strategy with operational guidelines for all states towards set targets. It has also given a detailed breakdown of annual budgetary requirements over five years.

Background

Malaria is a vector borne disease caused by parasitic protozoans belonging to the Plasmodium type. It is most commonly transmitted by an infected female Anopheles mosquito. According to the World Malaria Report 2016, India accounts for 89% of the incidence of malaria in the South-East Asia region.

In India, malaria is caused by the parasites Plasmodium falciparum (Pf), found more in the forest areas and Plasmodium Vivax (Pv), more common in the plains. Most malaria cases are mainly concentrated in tribal and remote areas of the country.

The majority of malaria reporting districts are in India’s eastern and central parts. Six states — Odisha (40%), Jharkhand (20%), Chhattisgarh (20%), Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram (5-7%) report most of the malaria cases in India. These states, along with tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra account for 90% of India’s malaria burden.

Fact Box: Vice Presidential Election

Incumbent Vice President Hamid Ansari’s term comes to an end on August 10, 2017. Election Commission of India (EC) has issued a notification, the process of filing nominations for the vice presidential election.

About office of Vice President

The officer of Vice-President is second highest public office in India. He has second rank in the order of precedence. Practically, office of Vice President has been created to provide political continuity of the Indian state. His main function is in the form of ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha. He works as acting president when president is not available.

Eligibility

As per article 66, the candidate contesting for election of Vice-President of India should be citizen of India, completed age of 35 years and must be qualified to become a member of Rajya Sabha. He must not hold an office for profit. A candidate’s nomination paper needs to be subscribed by at least 20 electors as proposers and at least another 20 electors as seconders.

Note: Presidential candidate should be qualified to become a member of Lok Sabha, Vice-presidential candidate should be qualified to become a member of Rajya Sabha.

Election

Like Presidential election, Vice Presidential election is also indirect and is held via system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote. The electoral college of Vice President includes elected by elected members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Unlike in Presidential election, MLAs or MLCs from state assemblies have no role to play in Vice Presidential election.

Term and removal

The term of office of the Vice President is five years. The term may end earlier by resignation which should be addressed to the President. The term may also terminate earlier by removal. There no impeachment process to remove Vice President.

The Vice President can be removed by a resolution passed by the members of the Rajya Sabha. To move such resolution, a 14 days’ notice is to be given. Such a resolution, though passed by the Rajya Sabha only, but must be agreeable to the Lok Sabha.

Functions of Vice President

Vice President is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. However, during the period when he acts as the officiating President of India, he shall not act as chairman of the Rajya Sabha and shall not be entitled to the salary or allowances payable to the chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

According to Article 65, in case the President is unable to discharge his duties for reasons such as illness, resignation, removal, death or otherwise, the Vice President shall carry out functions of the President. In such case, he will be entitled for the salary, allowance and all privileges of the President.

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