Need to leverage tech, innovation to move towards malaria elimination: Health ministry official | Science-Environment – Devdiscourse

The malaria landscape in India is rapidly changing and the country has seen a decline in cases from 2 million in the beginning of the century to 0.2 million in recent years, a senior health ministry official said Thursday.

Addressing the ‘Science, Technology and Innovation Conclave’ hosted by Malaria No More (MNM), Principal Advisor in the Ministry of Health Dr PK Sen also underlined the need for leveraging technology and innovation to move forward in efforts to achieve malaria elimination.

”India has seen a decline from 2 million cases in the beginning of the century to 0.2 million in the recent years. The malaria landscape is rapidly changing, the focus of malaria elimination in the country is currently towards use of existing tools, more reliance on existing technology and improved coverage of existing coverage measures,” he said.

Malaria has been one of India’s long-standing public health problems and threatens a population of around 1.26 billion and is responsible for an economic burden of about USD 1.9 billion, a statement by MNM said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pledge to end malaria in India by 2030 has set in motion the country’s malaria elimination program. Accordingly, India launched its national strategic plan for malaria elimination in 2017.

India is approaching the end of the current national strategic plan and needs to start conceptualising and initiating strategic discussions and cross-sectoral discourse on trivial advocacy and technical issues to craft a robust Endgame National Strategic Plan for 2022-2027, the statement said.

Former director of erstwhile NVBDCP (currently NCVBDC) Dr PL Joshi said, ”We cannot work in isolation to achieve our goals of malaria elimination, we need to work collaboratively with all stakeholders. Climate change and Malaria are very closely related, to address the rising issues of climate change influenced malaria we need close collaborations with the metrological department. ”The task ahead is to address the urgency of tracking all cases with efficient surveillance, for this we need to use information technology effectively supplemented with community engagement, quality control and capacity building.” MNM India has been facilitating discussions through an ongoing Malaria Advocacy Campaign ‘India’s March Towards Malaria Elimination by 2030: Challenges, Opportunities, and The Way Forward’, which was launched on World Mosquito day on August 20.

Through this campaign, MNM hopes to profile the agenda for the endgame strategic action plan 2022-2027, which will be crucial towards achieving zero indigenous transmission of malaria cases in India by 2027. The conclave focused on mapping research and innovation across industries to refine strategies and help in developing tailor-made solutions to advance India’s malaria endgame.

The conclave featured sessions on malaria in India, research and development for its elimination, industry perspectives and recommendations to help India meet its malaria elimination target. Stakeholders from the Ministry of Health, World Health Organization, India Meteorological Department (IMD), Indian Council of Medical Research, National Centre for Vector Borne Disease Control, and industry were present at the conclave. Kicking off the industry round-table sprint, Dr Chitra Gupta – Director – Healthcare, US-India Strategic Partnership Forum said this forum is ”committed to support the government of India’s National Framework for Malaria Elimination in India by 2030. Multi-sectoral collaboration, public-private-people partnerships and technology led solutions will pave the way forward for a robust malaria control programme, and we look forward to working with our partners like Malaria No More to achieve these goals together.” Dr Kaushik Sarkar, MNM India director in-charge, while addressing the inaugural panel, said, ”Malaria No More seeks to unleash the synergistic ability of the people and public sector interventions and investments to their fullest potential to achieve this chronic gain, riding on the near-term target of malaria free India by 2027.” PTI PLB ZMN

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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