UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – National Strategic Plan for Elimination of Malaria
National Strategic Plan for Elimination of Malaria (2017-2022) was launched by the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare. India has set its goal to totally eliminate Malaria by 2027 three years ahead of 2024 which is the global deadline for elimination of Malaria. The National Strategic Plan has formulated year wise elimination targets in various parts of the country. It is designed on the basis of National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) 2016 formulated with the support of World Health Organization’s Global Technical Strategy for Malaria (2016-2030).
Malaria is a vector borne disease caused by pathogens (parasitic protozoan of Plasmodium type)in human population, mostly transmitted by an infected female Anopheles mosquito. India accounts for 89% of incidence if Malaria in the South-East Asian region as per the World Malaria Report 2016, the burden being heaviest in the African region. It has the third highest Malaria cases in the world. The majority districts that report Malaria in India are the Eastern and Central regions. Six states: Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha report majority of Malaria cases in ascending order of incidence. The six states and tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra sum up to 90% of Malaria burden in the country.
Features of the National Strategic Plan for Elimination of Malaria
- It is a year- wise detailed strategy with operational guidelines to each state for elimination of Malaria.
- The goal is to achieve universal detection of cases, 100% diagnosis of suspected cases and provide adequate treatment services in Malaria endemic districts.
- It aims to preserve a “Malaria-free” status in the areas where there has been an interruption in the transmission.
- The districts are categorized based on the Annual Parasite Incidence (API) with a plan to totally eliminate indigenous Malaria cases in category1 (API<1 per 1000 population) & category 2(API >1<2 per 1000 population) districts and to bring category 3 districts (API>2 per 1000 population) under pre-elimination & elimination programme by the year 2022.
- Funds will be managed from government sources, Corporate Social Responsibility of the corporate sector and from international donations.
The National Strategic Plan is one of its kind in the efforts to eliminate Malaria and such a road map with breakup of targets has been formulated by the Union Health Ministry for the first time. Though meeting the 2027 targets for elimination of malaria is an uphill task, strong political & administrative commitment and a focused approach can help in meeting the targets.