Malaria Current Affairs - 2019

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Health Ministry launches Jan Jagrukta Abhiyaan in New Delhi

Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) have launched a 3 day special campaign called Jan Jagrukta Abhiyaan in New Delhi. It is a campaign aimed towards sensitizing and mobilising community for prevention and control of vector borne diseases (VBDs) such as Dengue, Chikungunya and Malaria. The 3 day campaign will be held from 17 to 19 July 2019 in New Delhi.

About Jan Jagrukta Abhiyaan

Objective: To make community a partner for checking vector/mosquito breeding across Delhi.

Need: As per data compiled by Health ministry shows that till 30 June 2019at least 8,058 positive dengue cases with 8 deaths, 14404 chikungunya cases have been reported from across country. Also a total of 66,313 Malaria cases have also been reported across country till 31 May 2019.

JJA is going to be a Peoples Movement by active involvement of people’s representatives, officers from Centre Government, Government of NCT Delhi, all 3 Delhi Municipal Corporations, NDMC, Railways and Cantonment board and other stakeholders to combat dengue, malaria and chikungunya.

For 1st time 3 governments agencies- national, state and local bodies have come together to create awareness amongst people for a public health activity.

Strategy Followed:

A total of 286 ward-wise teams i.e. 272 Municipal wards and 14 locations of NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Council) have been constituted with 20-25 members per team.

Each ward team includes field workers of Municipal Corporation, officers of Central Government and Delhi Government.

The concerned Malaria circle incharge will coordinate and teams will visit schools, residential areas, hospitals, Resident Welfare Association (RWA), market associations etc.

Activities Undertaken:

Schools– Team will meet Head of Institution/Principal, teachers and staff including nodal teacher and sensitise them towards keeping school premises free of vectors, will address school children explaining methods for prevention of VBDs, demonstrate larvae and adults of vector mosquito, distribute handbills and other communication material and check school premises, eliminate breeding habitat if any.

Hospitals: Team will meet Medical Superintendent/Nodal Officer/Caretaker and sensitize them followed by health talk on prevention and control of VBDs. The team will also place Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials with messages on prevention and control of VBDs at strategic locations and interact with patients and accompanied person. Team will check hospitals premises for breeding of vector mosquito, eliminate breeding habitat if any.

Similarly, teams will also meet members of RWA and community and undertake awareness activities with them.

Wherever needed larvicide will be applied by team.

WHO: Algeria and Argentina declared Malaria-Free

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Algeria and Argentina as ‘Malaria-Free’ countries after no cases of indigenous transmission of disease were recorded.

Key Highlights

  • Background: The Malaria parasite was first discovered in humans in Algeria by a French physician named Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran in 1880. By 1960s, Malaria became Nigeria’s primary health challenge, with reporting almost 80,000 cases each year. The country then started it steps towards responding to disease. On the other hand, Argentina began is elimination efforts in 1970s.
  • About: The indigenous transmission of disease was last reported from Algeria in 2013, while last case of Argentina was recorded in 2010.
  • Algeria became second country in Africa to be declared malaria-free, after Mauritius, which was certified in 1973.
  • Argentina became second country in South America to be certified malaria free after Paraguay, which was certified in June 2018.
  • The certificates will be presented to both countries on sidelines of the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) which is being held in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Steps Taken: by both nations include-
  1. Improved surveillance which helped every last case of malaria to be rapidly identified and treated.
  2. Free diagnosis and treatment of patients ensured that no one was left behind. This helped to prevent, detect and cure the disease.
  3. The trained health workers were deployed to spray homes with insecticides and to also diagnose disease through microscopy.

WHO and Malaria

As per the WHO’s World malaria report 2018:

  • Malaria remains one of world’s leading killers of decade. In 2017, Malaria accounted for about 219 million cases from 87 countries and more than 400,000 deaths. Of total count over 60% of fatalities was among children under 5 years of age and had caused 266,000 deaths worldwide.
  • In 2017, the African region recorded 92% of malaria cases and 93% of malaria deaths thus had highest share of global malaria burden.
  • Four countries in African continent accounted for nearly 50% of all malaria cases worldwide, namely Nigeria (25%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC 11%), Mozambique (5%), and Uganda (4%)

WHO Malaria-Free Certification Criteria: The Country under consideration has to prove that it has interrupted indigenous transmission of malaria for at least 3 consecutive years. Till date a total of 36 countries have received WHO’s malaria free certification.

About Malaria

  • It is mosquito-borne infectious disease.
  • Cause: by infectious Plasmodium type parasitic protozoans (group of single-celled microorganisms).
  • Transmission: on biting of infected female Anopheles mosquito.
  • Mosquirix or (RTS,S) is World’s first vaccine against a parasitic disease.