According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report based on data from National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) says 0ne in every seven Indians is at the risk of contracting malaria. At this moment, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Ethiopia contribute 80% of all malaria cases world wide and among these countries, India’s budget for malaria control is the lowest in the world.
In 2014, there were 1.102 million confirmed malaria cases in the country which is higher than that of 2012 and 2013. The number of deaths from malaria (562) is also higher than the number of malaria deaths in 2012. Tamilnadu is the only state that showed a sharp decline in the number of malaria cases and death.
The recent outbreak of malaria is partly due to mosquitoes becoming drug resistant. WHO report says a number of medicines are sold over the counter in India that are banned internationally. These medicines and their improper usage create drug resistant strains of malaria virus that is prevalent in the country now. But according to additional director of NVBDCP Dr. G. S. Sonal, “Drug resistance was a problem three years ago, when we relied on a single drug. After incorporating multi-drug therapy in our national programme, resistance is not that big an issue. But we still do around 15 studies every year to study the efficacy of these drugs,”
Mosquitoes have also developed a resistance for DDT and pyrethroids, two insecticides of choice for eradicating mosquitoes and larvae. This has created a major problem in controlling reproduction and spread of mosquito, especially in areas where healthcare services are not up to the mark. All is not negative however, the same report mentions that India would achieve a 50 to 75% reduction in malaria cases by end of 2016.