BHUBANESWAR: As the State is all set to observe World Malaria Day on Tuesday, the Health and Family Welfare Department has planned to start distribution of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) in 17 malaria- prone districts.
Initially, the medicated nets will be distributed in Koraput, Malkangiri and Nabarangpur districts and later extended to Rayagada, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Balangir, Nayagarh, Boudh, Angul, Deogarh, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur and Sundargarh districts. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, an international financing organisation that aims to disburse additional resources to prevent and treat HIV, TB and malaria, is providing 1.13 crore nets to Odisha in different phases.
A health official said 30 lakh nets have been received so far. “The nets will be distributed in all villages in the three districts in first phase. Later, the nets would be provided to all beneficiaries in rest 14 districts. Use of nets would certainly help control spread of malaria. As many as two crore people in 17 districts are expected to benefit,’’ he said.
Of 17 districts, Koraput, Malkangiri , Nabarangapur, Kalahandi, Rayagada, Gajapati, Nuapada, Kandhamal, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Sundargarh, Deogarh and Angul districts have reported more than 10 Annual Parasite Incidence (API) per 1000 population. The State Government has launched a flagship scheme DAMaN for elimination of malaria in inaccessible areas.
The Collectors have been asked to focus on early diagnosis and complete treatment and intensify the drive started as part of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP). The district officials have made planning at micro level to streamline net distribution. Steering committees have been formed in each district for proper monitoring and successful implementation of DAMaN scheme.
Odisha has topped the list of malaria deaths in the country though the number of deaths has come down from 89 in 2014 to 77 in 2016. Of 71,89,116 samples tested last year, 4,49,697 were diagnosed with malaria and among the positive cases, 3,89,332 were detected with Plasmodium falciparum parasite. Health officials are also planning to take help of digital microscopes for identification of the disease in four districts, where API is more than 10, on a pilot basis. A three-member committee has been formed to take final call on the use of digital microscopes.