NVBDCP Current Affairs - 2019

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ICMR launched ‘MERA India’ to eliminate malaria from India by 2030

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) launched ‘MERA (Malaria Elimination Research Alliance) India’, with aim of eliminating Malaria from India by 2030. It is a collective group of partners working on malaria control. It was launched on occasion of World Malaria Day 2019 (Observed on 25 April).

MERA India

  • It aims to prioritize, plan and scale up a coordinated research to have impact on population facing malaria risk and to eliminate malaria from India by 2030.
  • It complements and not duplicates international efforts to eliminate Malaria on a national scale, and simultaneously contributing to broader global agenda.
  • It seeks to facilitate trans-institutional coordination and collaboration around shared research agenda, which responds to programmatic challenges, addresses gaps in available tools, and proactively contributes to targeted research.
  • It holds importance for Ministry of Health and Family Welfare because of operational research.

India and Malaria

Declining Trend: Malaria burden has declined in India by over 80% from 2.03 million cases in 2000 to 0.39 million in 2018, and Deaths caused by malaria also declined by over 90% from 932 deaths in 2000 to 85 in 2018. This success of India in malaria control cases, provided foundation for leadership commitment towards eliminating malaria from India by 2030. The WHO report also appreciated India’s research for decline in malaria.

India’s ‘The National Vector Borne Diseases Control Program (NVBDCP)’, developed a comprehensive framework to achieve overarching vision of “Malaria free India by 2030”. NVBDCP’s National Strategic Plan recognises critical role of research to support and guide malaria elimination efforts.

Way Forward

To achieve the stated objective, we need to have a coordinated approach, cutting edge research, research inputs, stick to timeline and tools which can guide national programme to develop strategies for regular changes endemicity in near malaria elimination era.