IMPHAL, April 25 - Manipur has the lowest number of cases of malaria among the North Eastern States with only 12 malaria cases reported in 2018, according to official sources.
Manipur is approaching nearer the ‘Zero Malaria’ status, said a DIPR report released in connection with the World Malaria Day observance in the State today. The 12 cases reported in 2018 were concentrated in Churachandpur and Pherzawl districts.
The national target is to eliminate local malaria by the year 2030. Manipur has set the target of 2020 for eliminating local malaria, but changed it to 2021 following the 12 malaria cases found positive in 2018. Senapati district had zero malaria cases and deaths in 2018.
The State Health Society, National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, Manipur, also observed the Day today at Mount Everest School and College Chapel Hall at Senapati district headquarters under the theme, ‘Zero malaria starts with me’, the report said.
Speaking on the occasion, the DC of Senapati district, Somorjit Salam, said that with the declaration of Senapati district as Open Defecation Free (ODF), there is possibility of achieving the target of zero malaria. He also said that the efforts of the State Government and community have helped take malaria disease to the verge of eradication. Earlier, Manipur was an endemic area, especially the hilly region.
Dr Thangpa Serto, State Malaria Officer, said that among the Indian States, Manipur has the best performance. He mentioned that India’s Malaria Programme started in 1919. When India got Independence, 22 per cent of the population suffered from malaria. The year 1965 should not be forgotten because no person died from malaria that year, though malaria cases were registered. But malaria came back with a vengeance in 1976, he added.
April 25 is observed internationally as the World Malaria Day. The theme for 2019 is ‘Zero malaria starts with me’. In 2017, the WHO estimated 219 million malaria cases and 4,35,000 malaria deaths in 87 countries. The African region has a high share of global malaria with 92 per cent of malaria cases and 93 per cent deaths in 2017. India represents 4 per cent of the global malaria burden. Among Indian States, Odisha contributes 25 per cent followed by Meghalaya, Mizoram, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand.