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Odisha Aims to Become First Malaria-free State in Five Years

‘Malaria No More’ India, a non-profit organisation working to support India’s 2030 malaria elimination goal, launched the Malaria Action Coalition (MAC) under the leadership of Odisha Government with a vision to make the state malaria-free.

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Updated:September 11, 2019, 10:56 AM IST
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Odisha Aims to Become First Malaria-free State in Five Years
File picture of Odisha CM and BJD president Naveen Patnaik.
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Having taken drastic measures over the years to get rid of the dubious distinction of accounting for approximately 40 percent of all malaria cases in India, Odisha is now working to eliminate the mosquito-borne disease altogether over the next five years.

‘Malaria No More’ India, a non-profit organisation working to support India’s 2030 malaria elimination goal, launched the Malaria Action Coalition (MAC) under the leadership of Odisha Government on Saturday with a vision to make the state malaria-free.

The MAC will act as a multi-sectoral coordination platform.

Launching the MAC, Odisha Health and Family Welfare Minister Naba Kishore Das stressed the commitment to control Malaria in the state. The Odisha government has set a five-year target to eliminate malaria from the state, the Times of India quoted him as saying at the event.

“Our state has made great progress in reducing malaria burden by more than 80% since 2017. We will eliminate the disease within five years and become the first state in India to become malaria-free,” he said.

“Improving public health is a shared responsibility of all the stakeholders- Government, Private players and sector experts, he said adding that the Malaria Action Coalition, will bring thought leadership, along with the state government, to make the fight against malaria more robust,” he said.

Das said lauded the role of 47,000 Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) in bringing down the number of malaria cases in the state. “They have worked at the village level to detect and treat malaria in communities and help adopt preventive habits. There were 3.52 lakh malaria cases in 2017 but it came down to 66,000 last year and 22,000 this year till August end. We are trying to reduce the cases further,” the minister added.

Malaria No More India, Country Director Sanjeev Gaikwad, said, “there was a need of a body that brings together efforts of various stakeholders on a single platform to make Odisha Malaria free.”

“We believe, MAC will seamlessly fill that gap and bring new insights which will make the fight against malaria inclusive and intensive,” he remarked.

MAC will strengthen programmatic action through innovative tools and technology, while Malaria No More India will provide technical and other support to the Odisha government.

Private players like Abbott India also participated in the programme to support the fight against malaria. Abbott has supplied 1 million rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and technical expertise to strengthen Odisha’s malaria detection and surveillance system.

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