GOVERNMENT READY TO CONTROL VECTOR BORNE DISEASES
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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 are well known vector for causing more human suffering than any other organism