What may be termed as a good, if not best news, for the state of Meghalaya, it was reported that the malaria cases in Meghalaya have shown a decrease by 57.87% till March 2018.
Revealing the status of malaria cases in the State during the ‘World Malaria Day’ celebration here today, Deputy Director of Health Services (MI), Dr (Mrs) R Lyngdoh said that the number of Plasmodium falciparum ‘PF’ cases have also decreased by 53.23%.
She further informed that there are 12 cases of deaths in 2017 while informing that there were no reports of death till March this year.
Stating that South Garo Hills which has high prevalence of malaria cases saw a marginal decline with 42.21 %, Dr (Mrs) Lyngdoh said that both West Garo Hills and East Garo Hills saw a major decline in the malaria cases with 75.61 % and 77,91 % respectively.
Earlier, Meghalaya health and family welfare minister A.L. Hek on Wednesday called for collective responsibility in totally eliminating malaria from the state.
Stressing on the need for awareness and disseminating of information to the masses which is the need of the hour, the Minister stated that this requires a collective responsibility.
On the 2030 target set by the government in eradicating the disease from the country, Hek said, “Are we ready to beat malaria…the answer is yes. It is therefore our responsibility to go across the state and spread the message especially in rural areas where people still believe in superstitions.”
Earlier, East Khasi Hills District Deputy Commissioner, P.S. Dkhar said, “We have to be prepared. This is a challenge and we have to make a commitment from our side to ensure that we eradicate malaria.”
He also said that one must focus on the challenges while suggesting an idea of a ‘road map’ with various possibilities in eradicating the disease.
Encouraging the students and others present to spread awareness on malaria, the Deputy Commissioner observed that they should be ambassadors and spread the message in keeping the environment clean so that the state can be malaria-free.
Meanwhile, Dr. T. Wahlang, Director of Health Services (MI) stated that though malaria is still prevalent in the state, the department has been able to control the disease with the adoption of better surveillance and early intervention measures.
“These include potential drugs in treating the disease, DDT sprays and distribution of long lasting insecticide nets to the community,” he said.
The celebration under the theme “Ready to Beat Malaria” with the objective of creating awareness in preventing the disease was organised by the Office of the Deputy Director of Health Services (Malaria), National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, State Health Society, Government of Meghalaya.
After the programme, the Minister also flagged-off the ‘School-Rally’ where students from various schools and colleges of the city participated.