Malaria outbreak in five districts

Of late, Bijapur has reported 436 cases, Bagalkot 74, Koppal 275, Chitradurga 15 and Tumkur 214. Sources in the Department of Health said the health officials needed to be proactive. “Many health officials do not understand the severity of a malaria outbreak. If necessary action is not taken on time, malaria can spread to the cities,” sources said.

Apparently, Karnataka had received a letter of appreciation from NVBDCP for controlling malaria in a very short time span recently. In 2008, there were reportedly eight deaths due to malaria with 47,160 confirmed cases and 9,957 Plasmodium falciparum-PF (severe) cases.
In 2009, there were 36,830 confirmed malaria cases and 5685 PF cases with no reported deaths.  

State health secretary Dr E V Ramana Reddy said the government is doing well in controlling malaria. “Every time there is an outbreak of malaria cases we do take immediate action and do the needful. But certain areas are endemic and we can only make efforts to reduce the number of cases,” he said.

The secretary said lack of junior health assistants was a major hurdle faced by the malaria programme. The junior health assistants go door to door in affected areas and distribute medicines for malaria.

“We are in the process of recruiting 5,000 health workers. Shortly, we will have more staff to overcome the staff crunch,” the secretary added.  

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