Odisha gears up to weed out malaria from remote areas

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Bhawanipatna/Koraput/Bhubaneswar: With Odisha being the leading state in the country in terms of the number of malaria patients, the state government has come up with new plans to weed out the deadly vector borne disease from the remote and the most affected areas of the state.

As per the report of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), Odisha had the highest number of malaria patients in the country during 2009-2013. Though the number has come down in the last three years, the state ranks second in the country as there is a marginal decrease in the number of patients during the period.

While 89 patients had died of the disease in 2019, there was a marginal drop in the number of deaths (78) in 2015, the report added.

During its visit to Kalahandi district headquarters hospital, the OTV team found the wards full with malaria patients starting from the children to the old. The team also found the same situation in Koraput district headquarters hospital.

Talking to OTV, Debi Mishra, a native of Kalahandi district said of the total patients at the district headquarters hospital here, about 65-70 patients are affected by malaria. Expressing concern over the rise in the number of malaria patients in the district, he said the state government should start conducting blood sample test in each village of the district and distribute medicine to the patients so that the rate of its incidence can come down appreciably.

The NVBDCP report also observed that most of the malaria patients are found in the remote areas of Odisha due lack of proper awareness among the people as a result of which the patients die due to untimely diagnosis.

In response to the report, the state Health department has decided to work in a planned manner in the malaria prone districts of Rayagada, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Deogarh, Angul, Sambalpur and Sundergarh.

Talking about the measures to be taken in this regard, Joint Director, Health, Dr MM Pradhan said efforts will be made to make people aware of the disease through their native language.

“We will identify the remote and inaccessible villages in these districts where we will step up awareness campaign. Arrangements will be made to keep adequate stock of medicines in these villages. We will diagnose all people of these villages and examine their blood samples. If we find any symptom of malaria in any person, we will provide treatment whether he/she suffers from fever or not. We have a target to complete the process by May-June this year, he added.

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