“Malaria cases are down in In­dia by 60% in 2018 com­pared to 2017”

Na­tional Di­a­logue on Pro­tect­ing Com­mu­ni­ties: Vec­tor Con­trol in Ac­tion

BioSpectrum (Asia) - - Bio Event -

Vec­tor dis­eases such as malaria still plague In­dia. Malaria treat­ment should, there­fore, be a com­pul­sory part of train­ing to all doc­tors and pub­lic health work­ers, sug­gested the Prin­ci­pal Ad­vi­sor (Pub­lic Health), Direc­torate Gen­eral of Health Ser­vices, Min­istry of Health & Fam­ily Wel­fare, Govern­ment of In­dia– Dr N. S. Dharmshaktu.

He was speak­ing at ASSOCHAM’s Na­tional Di­a­logue on Pro­tect­ing Com­mu­ni­ties: Vec­tor Con­trol in Ac­tion in New Delhi on Septem­ber 26, 2018. De­scrib­ing the hur­dles to Vec­tor-Borne Dis­ease con­trol in In­dia, Dr Dharmshaktu sug­gested sev­eral other mea­sures to put a stop to the prob­lem. His sug­ges­tions in­cluded vec­tor con­trol com­po­nents in smart cities and web-based re­port­ing of all Vec­tor Borne Dis­eases (VBD) cases.

The con­fer­ence was also graced by the pres­ence of Di­rec­tor, Na­tional Vec­tor Borne Dis­ease Con­trol Pro­gramme, Min­istry of Health & Fam­ily Wel­fare – Dr P. K. Sen who out­lined the dan­ger posed by Vec­tor Borne Dis­eases to In­dia. The govern­ment is tak­ing steps to con­trol VBDs he as­sured the gath­er­ing, adding that Malaria cases are down by 60 per cent in 2018 com­pared to the same in 2017. He also bat­ted for a more ef­fi­cient sur­veil­lance and re­port­ing mech­a­nism, de­ploy­ment of ef­fi­cient hu­man re­sources and in­creased co­or­di­na­tion be­tween dif­fer­ent stake­hold­ers.

Dr Sen said that tech­nol­ogy will be cru­cial in stem­ming the tide of vec­tor-borne dis­ease epi­demics. Tech­nolo­gies such as dis­ease sur­veil­lance sys­tem and web-based re­port­ing need to be strength­ened to tackle the spo­radic epi­demics that are en­demic to In­dia. Such tech­nolo­gies will help track dis­eases in real time and help pol­i­cy­mak­ers de­vise op­ti­mum strate­gies to fight them.

“In­dia is en­demic to vec­tor-borne dis­eases. We must all, there­fore, work to­gether to com­bat the prob­lem and here Pub­lic-Pri­vate part­ner­ships can play a ma­jor role,” ob­served Dr Arun Ku­mar, Head of South Asia, Bayer En­vi­ron­men­tal Science.

“Dis­eases do not just cause sick­ness but also be­come an eco­nomic bur­den to the fam­i­lies. En­demic to In­dia, vec­tor-borne dis­eases are there­fore se­ri­ous health and fi­nan­cial is­sue for In­dia,” stated Dr Su­nil M. Ra­heja, Ad­di­tional Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, Pub­lic Health-IV, IDSP, NVBDCP, Govern­ment of NCT of Delhi.

In his Wel­come Re­marks at the con­fer­ence Uday Ku­mar Varma, Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral, ASSOCHAM dwelt on the rea­sons be­hind the surge in VBDs in In­dia. While cases of malaria are de­creas­ing, dengue cases dou­bled be­tween 2015 and 2017 reach­ing 1.88 lakh cases, he noted. VBDs are out­comes of devel­op­men­tal is­sues he ob­served adding that they need to be ad­dressed through mul­ti­ple ap­proaches.

The ac­tions taken to com­bat VBDs must be sci­en­tific and ev­i­dence-based as­serted the Coun­try Lead – Rou­tine Im­mu­niza­tion and Ne­glected Trop­i­cal Dis­eases, Bill & Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion – Dr Bhu­pen­dra Tri­pathi. Pub­lic Pri­vate Part­ner­ships are es­sen­tial to re­strict the spread of VBDs in In­dia he noted.

The event also wit­nessed the re­lease of a knowl­edge pa­per jointly pre­pared by ASSOCHAM and Azoth An­a­lyt­ics Pvt Ltd ti­tled “Con­trol­ling Vec­tor-Borne Dis­eases: An In­dian Per­spec­tive.”

The in­au­gu­ral ses­sions was fol­lowed by ex­ten­sive dis­cus­sions on the themes: “Man­ag­ing Dis­eases: How can Vec­tor Con­trol play a piv­otal role?” And “Vec­tor Con­trol Chal­lenges in Ur­ban In­dia: Novel Ap­proaches & Com­mu­nity Driven Tools”, both mod­er­ated by Dr Ranju An­thony, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, TRK Con­sul­tants Pvt Ltd.

The con­fer­ence was graced by the pres­ence of dig­ni­taries such as Head of South Asia, Bayer En­vi­ron­men­tal Science – Dr Arun Ku­mar; Di­rec­tor, Azoth An­a­lyt­ics Pvt Ltd – Mat­loob Hasan; Di­rec­tor (Health), NITI Aayog – Dr. S. Ra­jesh; Joint Di­rec­tor, Na­tional Vec­tor Borne Dis­ease Con­trol Pro­gramme – Dr. Kal­pana Baruah; Ad­di­tional Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, Pub­lic health – IV, NVBDCP Water­borne Dis­eases Con­trol – Dr Su­nil M. Ra­heja; US Health At­tache, In­dia & Re­gional Rep­re­sen­ta­tive – South Asia, US Depart­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices – Dr Preetha Ra­jara­man; and the As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, ASSOCHAM – Dr Om S. Tyagi, be­sides many oth­ers.

Dr N. S. Dharmshaktu, Prin­ci­pal Ad­vi­sor (Pub­lic Health), Direc­torate Gen­eral of Health Ser­vices, Min­istry of Health & Fam­ily Wel­fare, Govern­ment of In­dia ad­dress­ing the gath­er­ing at the ASSOCHAM’s Na­tional Di­a­logue on Pro­tect­ing Com­mu­ni­ties: Vec­tor Con­trol in Ac­tion in New Delhi on Septem­ber 26, 2018.

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