Malaria set to be notifiable disease across India even as cases show a decline

Source: The post is based on the article “Malaria set to be notifiable disease across India even as cases show a decline” published in The Hindu on 25th April 2023

What is the News?

Malaria is all set to become a notifiable disease across India.

Note: Currently, malaria is a notifiable disease in 33 States and Union Territories in India.

What is Notifiable Disease?

A notifiable disease is any disease that is required by law to be reported to government authorities.

Making a disease legally notifiable by doctors and health professionals allows for intervention to control the spread of highly infectious diseases.

The Centre has notified several diseases such as cholera, diphtheria, encephalitis, leprosy, meningitis, pertussis (whooping cough), plague, tuberculosis, AIDS, hepatitis, measles, yellow fever, malaria, dengue etc. 

The onus of notifying any disease and the implementation lies with the state government.

Any failure to report a notifiable disease is a criminal offence and the state government can take necessary actions against defaulters.

About the decline in Malaria cases in India

India was the only high-burden, high-impact country in the Southeast Asia region to report a decline in malaria cases in 2020 as compared to 2019. 

India witnessed an 85.1% decline in malaria cases and 83.36% decline in deaths during 2015-2022.

What are the steps taken against Malaria?

India has set a vision to be malaria-free by 2027 and to eliminate the disease by 2030. 

The Health Ministry has initiated a joint action plan with the Ministry of Tribal Affairs for malaria elimination in tribal areas.

The government now has the availability of near-real-time data monitoring through an integrated health information platform (HIP-Malaria Portal) and periodic regional review meetings to keep a check on malaria growth across India.

What should be the way forward against Malaria?

Globally, children in the poorest households are five times more likely to be infected with malaria. Malaria is also more prevalent among young children whose mothers have a lower level of education and live in rural areas.

Hence, reaching these populations with available malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment is critical for achieving the global technical strategy for malaria 2016-2030 and Sustainable Development Goal targets and delivering on the promise of zero malaria for everyone, everywhere,

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