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Winning war on malaria, claims BMC

Friday, 25 April 2014 - 8:25am IST | Agency: dna

The BMC health department claims there is a significant drop in the number of patients with malaria reporting to hospitals. As per its data, 10,525 cases were registered last year, and the figure was 76,500 in 2010.

Dr Mangala Gomare, in-charge BMC epidemiology department, said: "We have started ward level campaign to eradicate malaria. Our medical officers have been spreading awareness on how to get rid of mosquito breeding spots."

He added that it's BMC's three-year-long effort that had led to 85% drop in malaria cases in the city. "We have round-the-year programmes to fight malaria. Even the Central government has appreciated our efforts. We now aim to minimize malaria cases in the city and this requires active cooperation from Mumbaikars."

There were 1,622 cases of malaria since January this year, with three suspected deaths. There have been 22 positive malaria cases in April so far. Doctors, however, dismiss them as sporadic and say there's nothing to worry. Dr Pratit Samdhani, a physician in Jaslok hospital, said most of the (malarial) patients in the hospital had been complaining of high-grade fever, headache, dehydration and fatigue.

Dr Khusrav Bhajan, intensivist at PD Hinduja Hospital in Mahim, said: "In the last 2-3 years, malaria and dengue, which were normally seen only during the monsoon season, are being seen throughout the year. People should see a doctor in case fever lasts more than two days."

World Malaria Day 25 April
In 2009, about 3.3 billion people—half the world's population—risked being affected by malaria. This means, every year about 250 million malaria cases and nearly 800,000 deaths. People living in poorer countries are the most vulnerable.

World Malaria Day, instituted by the World Health Assembly at its 60th session in May 2007, is a day for recognizing the global effort to effectively check malaria.
It's an opportunity:

for countries in the affected regions to learn from each other and support each others' efforts;
for new donors to join the global partnership against malaria;
for research and academic institutions to flag their scientific advances to both experts and general public;
for international partners, companies and foundations to showcase their efforts and reflect on how to scale up what has worked.

What is malaria?
It's a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite. Patients with malaria are very sick with high fever, shaking chills and flu-like illness. Four kinds of malaria parasites can infect humans: Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae.

You can prevent malaria by:
keeping mosquitoes from biting you, especially at night;
eliminating places around your home where mosquitoes breed;
spraying insecticides on home walls to kill mosquitoes that come inside;
sleeping under bed nets, especially effective if they have been treated with insecticide; * wearing insect repellent and long-sleeved clothing if out of doors at night.

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