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Malaria toll climbs to 54 in Tripura
Correspondent
 AGARTALA, June 28 – Despite all out efforts to contain the malaria outbreak in Tripura, four more malaria deaths were reported from three subdivisions taking the total death toll to 54 since June 1, according to official sources.

 A total of 8,984 patients underwent blood tests across the State on Saturday and 1,674 of them were diagnosed with malaria parasite. Out of 1,229 patients admitted in different hospitals across the State today, 682 were confirmed to have contracted the deadly disease.

Health Minister Choudhury who visited interior villages of Longtarai valley sub-division, the worst malaria-affected area on Saturday, said, there were no deaths reported from Sipahijala, Gomati and Unakoti districts till date.

Asked about key concerns faced by the Health department, the Minister said that lack of community participation in availing institutional treatment in time is posing a serious trouble.

“Our grassroot level workers, elected public representatives and others are working to bring the maximum people under hospital cover. The outbreak was largely contained in most areas of the State”, he said. A total of 60,876 patients were subjected to blood tests since the outbreak of malaria across the State.

Additional Director of National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme Dr Avadesh Kumar said that there are confirmed reports of prevalence of malaria in several areas of Gomati and Dhalai districts too. “The State could utilise 21 per cent of the entire funds sanctioned for the State in 2013-2014”, he said.

He expressed serious concern over the future of vector- borne disease control programme in Tripura and said that if the situation didn’t improve, reduction in fund allocation from the global funding authority for eradication of vector-borne diseases couldn’t be ruled out. The national performance is maligned for low performance of States like Tripura, he added.

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