Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with an America-based agency ‘Malaria No More’ and another Indian agency ‘Malaria Elimination Trust’ in a bid to make the state malaria-free.
The state Health department inked the pact in the presence of Health Minister Pratap Jena at the State Secretariat.
Health Commissioner-cum-Secretary Pramod Kumar Meherda, Health Director Dr Brajakishore Brahma, ‘Malaria No More’ CEO Martin Enlund and ‘Malaria Elimination Trust’ trustee Dr Koushik Sarkar were also present on the MoU signing occasion.
The Odisha Government is taking aptly decided successful steps to eradicate malaria from the State. As the onslaught of malaria has lessened considerably in Odisha, agencies are keen on getting the State completely rid of malaria.” said Jena while speaking on the occasion.
Jena also claimed that the impact of malaria has gone down to 85 per cent due to the successful implementation of the state government’s ‘Daman’ programme. Besides, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has highly praised Odisha government’s anti-malaria initiatives.
As malaria is a great challenge to combat alone, the state government hopes to eradicate malaria from the Odisha by joining hands with American agency ‘Malaria No More’ and Indian agency ‘Malaria Elimination Trust’.
Apart from helping the State Government in chalking out strategy for malaria eradication, the two agencies will also prepare roadmap for massive public awareness and will work towards maintaining coordination with both government and non-government agencies.
It may be mentioned here that, the state government under its ‘Daman’ programme has distributed 1.13 crore medicated mosquito-nets to the people across the state while sensitising people through various mediums.
As per reports, while 395004 people were hit with malaria in Odisha in 2014, 89 lost their lives. Similarly, in 2015, 436792 were afflicted while 80 lives were claimed, 449697 were affected and 77 died in 2016. This apart, in 2017, 352140 were affected by malaria and 24 died.
However, till July of this year, 41937 people were reported afflicted while two died. With the agreement done today with these two agencies, the ongoing malaria eradication programme will be further expedited in the State here.