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Odisha Tackles Malaria Menace with DAMAN Programme, No Death Reported in 2 Years

Since 2018, around 320 extremely remote and inaccessible villages in Kandhamal district has been identified under DAMAN for targeted intervention.

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Updated:September 11, 2019, 3:54 PM IST
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Odisha Tackles Malaria Menace with DAMAN Programme, No Death Reported in 2 Years
A worker sprays insecticide for mosquitos at at a park. (Image: Reuters)
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The malaria menace in Odisha is being fought effectively through a programme named DAMAN, targeting inaccessible villages in the state's Kandhamal district. DAMAN is an acronym for Durgam Anchalare Malaria Nirakaran (Malaria eradication in inaccessible areas) in Odia. The Hindu report quoted sources saying that during the past two years, no malaria deaths have been reported from the Kandhamal district.

Malaria, a mosquito-borne disease, is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes that breed in stagnant water. The onset of monsoon brings host of mosquito diseases including dengue, Zika virus, Chikungunya, Yellow fever among others.

"We have also been able to reduce malaria cases in remote areas of the district. In comparison to 2017, the total number of malaria cases in 2018 had come down by 90 percent. Till now in 2019, the reported cases in the district are 70 percent less than past year,” the daily quoted Kumud Chandra Sahu, the Kandhamal district vector-borne diseases’ consultant, as saying.

Since 2018, around 320 extremely remote and inaccessible villages in Kandhamal district has been identified under DAMAN for targeted intervention. It was decided that local volunteers along with peer leaders and a medical team will visit these villages for malaria test and medical intervention, in case of need, during the monsoon.

The report mentioned Sahu saying that this year, they have already covered around 300 of 320 villages that do not have proper road communication and can be reached only on foot. He added that the medical teams are taking tremendous risks to reach these villages by traversing through overflowing streams and hilly jungle terrain.

According to the report, a medical team on its way to Rajupadar village of Kotagarh block on August 5, was rescued by the villagers while it was trying to cross an overflowing Kahandiaguda stream. As the team members were crossing the stream, floodwaters swept them away, but were rescued by the villagers.

“It is praiseworthy that despite all this, the team reached the village, tested 115 blood samples and treated the needy,” Sahu was quoted as saying by The Hindu.

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