New Delhi: India witnessed an 85.1-per cent decline in malaria cases and an 83.36-per cent decline in deaths caused by the disease from 2015 to 2022, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Monday.
Malaria is not just a public health issue but also a social, economic and political challenge that requires the cooperation of all the stakeholders, Mandaviya said while virtually addressing the Asia Pacific Leaders’ Conclave on Malaria Elimination in the presence of Tripura Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha, Mizoram’s Health Minister Dr R Lalthamgliana, NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr V K Paul and Dr Poonam Khetrepal, Regional Director, WHO-SEARO.
“India was the only high-burden, high-impact country in the South-East Asia region to report a decline in malaria cases in 2020 as compared to 2019.
“India witnessed an 85.1-per cent decline in malaria cases and an 83.36-per cent decline in deaths during 2015-2022,” Mandaviya said.
Lauding the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said the prime minister was among the global leaders who endorsed the malaria elimination roadmap of the Asia-Pacific Leaders Alliance at the East Asia Summit in 2015, which galvanised the region in striving to become malaria-free by 2030.
On the significant challenge posed by malaria, particularly to the marginalised and vulnerable communities, Mandaviya said “a rejuvenated political commitment and a strengthened technical leadership will play a monumental role in eradicating malaria from the world”.
Citing the transformational impact of the country’s health initiatives, such as the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres and the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, as well as the substantial role of its healthcare workers, he said, “India is committed to sharing our resources, knowledge and learnings with other countries in our endeavour to eliminate malaria.”
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Dr Culwick Togamana, Minister of Health and Medical Services, Solomon Islands, Dr Antonio Lalabalavu, Minister of Health and Medical Services, Republic of Fiji, Prof. Dr Dante Saksoni Harbuwono, Vice Minister of Health, Republic of Indonesia, Dr Zaliha Binti Mustafa, Minister of Health, Malaysia, Dr Mao Tan Eang, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Health, Kingdom of Cambodia, Dr Champa Aluthweera, Director, Anti-Malaria Campaign, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, Dr Chuman Lal Das, Director, Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, Ministry of Health, Nepal, and Dr Moh Moh Lwin, National Director, Myanmar, were also present at the conclave.
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