Sun Pharma may Join Health Min in its Drive to Erad­i­cate Malaria

The Economic Times - - Companies - Prabha.Ragha­van@ times­group.com

New Delhi: In­dia’s malaria erad­i­ca­tion drive may soon get a boost with the health min­istry plan­ning to tie up with drug maker Sun Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals for a state-spe­cific pro­gramme against the mos­quito-borne dis­ease that could be later be im­ple­mented na­tion­wide, said peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the de­vel­op­ment.

The pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship agree­ment is likely to be signed next week and will add funds to the Na­tional Frame­work for Malaria Elim­i­na­tion (NFME). The health min­istry’s NFME, launched in Fe­bru­ary, lists do­mes­tic fundrais­ing as a key pri­or­ity to achiev­ing its goal by 2030.

The part­ner­ship will also see joint im­ple­men­ta­tion of some of the frame­work’s rec­om­mended strate­gies over the next five years, ac­cord­ing to a per­son who spoke to ET on con­di­tion of anonymity. NFME lists mea­sures to tackle malaria in re­gions where it is en­demic, in­clud­ing screen­ing all fever cases sus­pected for malaria, rolling out mo­bile clin­ics and strength­en­ing district and sub­dis­trict hos­pi­tals with fa­cil­i­ties to man­age se­vere cases.

The agree­ment will first be signed be­tween Sun Pharma and an as-yet uniden­ti­fied state with high preva­lence of malaria, ac­cord­ing to an­other per­son who did not wish to be iden­ti­fied. The state is likely to be fi­nalised by April 24, based on a sur­vey cov­er­ing high-malar­i­apreva­lence re­gions.

The amount that Sun Pharma will con­trib­ute will also be de­cided dur­ing this time, ac­cord­ing to one of the peo­ple. A Sun Pharma spokesper­son de­clined to com­ment.

About 95% of In­dia’s pop­u­la­tion lives in malaria-en­demic ar­eas, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Vec­tor Borne Dis­ease Con­trol Pro­gramme. The country contributes 70% of the malaria cases and 69% of malaria deaths in South­east Asia, ac­cord­ing to NFME. The num­ber of malaria cases in In­dia de­clined to 1.1 mil­lion in 2015 from 2 mil­lion in 2000, NFME said.

“Malaria in­ter­ven­tions are highly cost-ef­fec­tive and demon­strate one of the high­est re­turns on in­vest­ment in pub­lic health,” the min­istry said.

The publicpri­vate part­ner­ship agree­ment is likely to be signed next week

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