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With the ar­rival of mon­soon in the coun­try, the risk of trans­mis­sion of malaria, dengue, chikun­gunya, Ja­panese en­cephali­tis, and other vec­tor­borne dis­eases has also in­creased. Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, glob­ally more than one bil­lion peo­ple get in­fected and more than one mil­lion peo­ple die from vector-borne dis­eases ev­ery year.

The vector-borne dis­eases, which are com­mu­ni­ca­ble in na­ture, pose se­ri­ous life threats as there are have been sev­eral in­stances that many peo­ple who sur­vive in­fec­tion are left per­ma­nently dis­abled.

Vec­tors are liv­ing or­gan­isms such as mos­qui­toes, bugs, ticks, flies and fresh­wa­ter snails that can trans­mit in­fec­tious dis­eases be­tween hu­mans or from an­i­mals to hu­mans and place to place. Many of these vec­tors are blood suck­ing in­sects and mos­qui­toes are well known vector for caus­ing more hu­man suf­fer­ing than any other or­gan­ism.

Vector-borne dis­eases pose an in­creas­ing threat to pub­lic health both in terms of the num­ber of peo­ple af­fected and their ge­o­graph­i­cal spread. Many dis­eases like dengue and chikun­gunya have nei­ther a vac­cine nor an ef­fec­tive treat­ment and changes in cli­mate, ecol­ogy, land-use pat­terns, and the rapid and in­creased move­ment of peo­ple and goods favour their spread to new ar­eas.

Union Health Min­is­ter JP Nadda re­viewed the preparedness of the min­istry for preven­tion and con­trol of vector-borne dis­eases (dengue, malaria, chikun­gunya) in the coun­try prior to rainy sea­son.

Nadda has also urged all the stake­hold­ers to start rig­or­ous aware­ness cam­paigns re­gard­ing the pre­ven­tive steps to be taken by the peo­ple in their com­mu­ni­ties as com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion and em­pow­er­ment are the most cru­cial ar­eas in preven­tion. Min­istry has ini­ti­ated sev­eral aware­ness pro­grammes through print and elec­tronic

me­dia for con­trol­ling these dis­eases. One year back, in June 2016, dengue was de­clared as no­ti­fi­able dis­ease by the Union Health Min­istry. Ac­cord­ing to the min­istry’s di­rec­tives, all health­care providers whether gov­ern­ment, pri­vate or NGOS have to be di­rected to no­tify all dengue cases to lo­cal health au­thor­i­ties so that pre­ven­tive mea­sures can be taken in the af­fected ar­eas. In­dia is ap­proach­ing to­wards elim­i­na­tion of Kala –Azar and Fi­lar­i­a­sis by 2017.

With a vi­sion of malaria-free coun­try by 2027 and elim­i­na­tion by 2030, Min­istry of Health and Fam­ily Wel­fare (MOHFW) re­leased a Na­tional Strate­gic Plan for the Elim­i­na­tion of Malaria (2017-22) de­vel­oped by Direc­torate of Na­tional Vector Borne Dis­ease Con­trol Pro­gramme (NVBDCP) with the sup­port of World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO).

The Na­tional Strate­gic Plan for Malaria Elim­i­na­tion (2017-22) was launched by the Union Health Min­is­ter for achiev­ing the ul­ti­mate goal of “elim­i­na­tion of malaria by 2030”. Speaking at the launch, Nadda said that the gov­ern­ment would like to elim­i­nate malaria by 2027 and urged the states for ac­tive co­op­er­a­tion. “In­ter-sec­toral co­or­di­na­tion is the key, we have to work to­gether with the other min­istries and mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions to achieve the de­sired re­sults,” the Health Min­is­ter had said af­ter re­leas­ing the strate­gic plan.

Direc­torate of NVBDCP is cen­tral nodal agency for im­ple­men­ta­tion of elim­i­na­tion strat­egy. The In­te­grated Dis­ease Sur­veil­lance Pro­gramme is also in­volved through their net­work in gen­er­at­ing early warn­ing sig­nals and rapid re­sponses to any im­pend­ing malaria out­break sit­u­a­tion, and would sup­ple­ment the NVBDCP team in lo­cat­ing the foci of in­fec­tion. In­sti­tu­tions like Na­tional Centre for Dis­ease Con­trol, Na­tional In­sti­tute of Malaria Re­search, Na­tional In­sti­tute for Re­search in Tribal Health, Vector Con­trol Re­search Centre, Na­tional In­sti­tute of Health and Fam­ily Wel­fare, All In­dia In­sti­tute of Med­i­cal Sciences and Med­i­cal Col­leges are in­volved in pro­vid­ing sup­port for malaria elim­i­na­tion.

The Na­tional Po­lio Sur­veil­lance Project, col­lab­o­ra­tive project of the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia and WHO would be lever­aged to pro­vide ad­di­tional tech­ni­cal and op­er­a­tional sup­port for malaria elim­i­na­tion. In­dian med­i­cal as­so­ci­a­tion and other pro­fes­sional bod­ies in­clud­ing NGOS would have an im­por­tant role in dis­sem­i­nat­ing and ad­vis­ing its mem­bers to ad­here to the pro­gramme guide­lines.

Swacch Bharat Ab­hiyan (elim­i­nat­ing mosquito­genic con­di­tions and up­com­ing Na­tional Mos­quito con­trol mis­sion) and Digital In­dia (pro­vid­ing real time mon­i­tor­ing, ca­pac­ity build­ing, and com­mu­ni­ca­tion) are pro­posed as en­ablers and cat­a­lyst to achieve the goal of malaria elim­i­na­tion.

In­dia is also co­op­er­at­ing with other coun­tries in the field of health. Re­cently, the Union Cabi­net chaired by the Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi had ap­proved sev­eral ac­tiv­i­ties with Ger­many and Pales­tine.

Vec­tors are liv­ing or­gan­isms such as mos­qui­toes, bugs, ticks, flies and fresh­wa­ter snails that can trans­mit in­fec­tious dis­eases be­tween hu­mans or from an­i­mals to hu­mans and place to place. Many of these vec­tors are blood suck­ing in­sects and mos­qui­toes...

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