Malaria Current Affairs - 2020

National Framework for Malaria Elimination 2016-2030 released

Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda has released the National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) 2016-2030 at New Delhi.

The framework aims to eliminate mosquito borne malaria disease from the country by 2030. This is for the first time government’s health policy has framed intervention have deliverables and time-bound targets.

Under the new framework

  • Whole country will be divided into three categories as per malaria prevalence — low (Category 1), moderate (Category 2) and endemic (Category 3) States.
  • Objectives: (i) Eliminate malaria from all low and moderate endemic states/UTs by 2022 (ii) Reduce incidence of malaria to less than 1 case per 1000 population in all States/UTs and its elimination by 2024. (iii) Interrupt indigenous transmission of malaria in all category 3 states by 2027. (iv) Prevent re-establishment of malaria local transmission in areas where it has been eliminated and to maintain status of malaria-free in the country by 2030.
  • The milestones and targets are set for years 2016, 2020, 2022, 2024, 2027 and 2030 by when the entire country has to sustained zero indigenous cases and deaths due to malaria.
  • By the end of 2016 all States/UTs must include malaria elimination in their broader health policies.
  • By the end of 2017, all States/UTs are expected to bring down Annual Parasite Incidence [API] to less than one per thousand population.
  • By the end of 2020, 15 endemic (category 1) States/UTs are expected to interrupt transmission of malaria and achieve 0 indigenous cases and deaths due to malaria.

Scientists genetically modify Anopheles gambiae mosquito species to fight malaria

Scientists have genetically modified malaria-causing mosquito Anopheles gambiae species to fight the deadly disease of malaria.

The research was successfully carried by team of researchers led by London based Imperial College and was published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

Key facts

  • Scientists have genetically modified Anopheles gambiae mosquito species so that they carry a modified gene disrupting egg production in female mosquitoes.
  • For this they had used a technology called gene drive which uses the technique of recessive genes, so that many mosquitoes will inherit only one copy of the gene.
  • Usually two copies in female Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes are needed for fertility. But the one copy of the gene makes female infertile by disrupting egg production.
  • The genes were modified with the help of CRISPR/Cas9 endonuclease which is a type of DNA cutting tool that modify the very specific parts of the genetic code.
  • The trait of modified gene can be passed through a population of mosquitoes over time and can help to drastically reduce or eliminate the malaria-carrying mosquito species.
  • The findings represent an important scientific step in the ability to develop novel methods of vector control.

It should be noted that mosquito species Anopheles gambiae are the major carrier of dangerous malaria parasites in sub-Saharan Africa region where 90 per cent of annual malaria deaths occur. Every year, malaria infects more than 200 million people and causes more than 430,000 deaths across the globe.