AGARTALA, Sept 22 - Impressed with the success of the first phase of the mass screening drive in Tripura’s 10 malaria endemic blocks, the state health department has decided to undertake another leg of the anti-malaria campaign in October-November.
In the first phase, around 95,000 blood slides were tested and 9,262 among them were identified as malaria affected, while one death was reported.
Officials said the death toll was largely reduced because of the early intervention by health workers – from subdivisional medical officers to ASHA workers.
During the two-and-a-half-month drive, health workers reached out to each and every household in the selected 10 blocks against hostile conditions. In some remote areas, health workers had to stay for 2-3 days to collect blood samples and carry out tests.
“Malaria deaths have been controlled significantly because of our all out efforts this year. Even hidden cases were identified during the mass screening drive that reduced the chance of fatality,” an official said here on Sunday.
Sharing her experience of the mass screening drive, the official said, “We found boys afflicted with malaria germs at Gamakobari in Amarpur subdivision, but they were playing and showed no symptoms of fever, which is most unusual. This is called hidden case.”
The second phase would begin in mid-October and continue for two months. “The timing has been fixed keeping in mind the tradition in the tribal belts. Those who go out for jhum cultivation are set to return home in October. We want to screen those who are coming back home,” the official said.
Of the 10 malaria endemic blocks, Dhalai has the highest with five – Dumburnagar, Raishyabari, Ganganagar, Manu and Chamanu. Although there is no vulnerable block in Unakoti district, Pecharthal block has been incorporated in the mass screening drive.