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