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People’s cooperation is must to tackle diseases: Khader

Sullia: To tackle dangerous fevers like malaria, dengue etc. health department needs people’s co operation. Without public help it is impossible stop control the deadly diseases, said U.T Khader, state health and family welfare minister.

He was speaking in the malaria control month celebration and officer’s meeting at KVG Ayurveda college hall. People should clean the surroundings of their houses. The organizations, taluk and primary health centers, health officers must work towards this.

When giving permission to the chicken stalls one must consider about the importance of cleanliness, Khader said.    

President of KVG educational institution Dr. KV Chidananda had presided over the program. Taluk panchayat president Jayaprakash Kunchadka, chief executive officer B.V Malleshappa, Dr. Raghu, GP member Navin Rai Menala and many others were present.
  • Published in D.K.

Drug-resistant, killer mutant Malaria strain enters India

New Delhi: Now this is another deadly bite to worry about, more so because the antimalarial drugs available in India may soon lose their teeth against the vectorborne disease, like in Myanmar and Cambodia.

In the first research report on drugresistant malaria from India, scientists at the National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR) have traced a mutation in the disease-causing parasite.

"Of the 384 samples we sequenced, non-synonymous mutations in the propeller region were found in four patients from the northeastern states. Though their presence did not correlate with ACT treatment failures, this mutation in the parasite comes as a major threat to India. The mutation has been witnessed in India for the first time. In near future, the resistance to drugs may occur in Indian patients too," NIMR research scientist Dr Vas Dev said.

The Plasmodium falciparum parasite - which causes the most dangerous form of malaria with the highest rates of complications and mortality - is treated with Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT).

The treatment of malaria in southeast Asia is threatened with the emergence of artemisinin-resistant P. falciparum and India is under a constant threat.

"Genome association studies have strongly linked a locus on P. falciparum chromosome 13 to artemisinin resistance, and recent mutations in the kelch-13 propeller region (pfk-13) are strongly linked to resistance. To date, this information was not known in Indian samples," Dr Dev added.

Concerned, the Union Health Ministry is keeping a strict watch on the situation. "Though the mutation has not yet shown any drug resistance in India, it certainly is a major threat. Not only India but the entire world is under threat. Our scientists are carrying out various studies in this regard," said Dr A.C. Dhariwal, National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme, Directorate General of Health Services, Health Ministry.

  • Published in National

Malaria kills over 1,200 children a day: UNICEF

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday that malaria kills more than 1,200 children a day across the world, despite a 40 percent drop in child deaths from the disease since 2000.

The UN agency released its "Facts about Malaria and Children" ahead of World Malaria Day to show the extensive impact of the disease on children and on pregnant women around the world.

"With a 40 percent reduction in child deaths from malaria since 2000, this year's World Malaria Day is an important marker in how far we have come," said Mickey Chopra, UNICEF's associate director for programmes, and chief of health.

"However, the deaths of close to half a million children a year are a sobering reminder that without increased efforts and investments this disease will remain a challenge to us all for a long time to come," Xinhua quoted Chopra as saying.

According to the latest report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), malaria mortality rates have decreased by 47 percent worldwide and 54 percent in Africa alone since 2000. Since 2001, it is estimated that more than four million malaria-related deaths have been averted, approximately 97 percent of which have been children under five.

Some 584,000 people died worldwide in 2013 from malaria, with 90 percent of these deaths occurring in Africa. In all there were approximately 198 million cases of malaria worldwide.

Although child deaths from malaria dropped significantly since 2000, children under five still represent 78 percent of global malaria deaths, or 456,000 per year. This means more than 1,200 children die every day from malaria, about 50 children every hour.

Between 2001 and 2013, 4.3 million lives were saved by improved access to malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Of these, 92 percent (3.9 million) were children under five in sub-Saharan Africa.

Protecting pregnant women is crucial in the fight against malaria. Malaria in pregnancy contributes significantly to deaths of mothers and young children, estimated to amount each year to 10, 000 women and up to 200,000 infants.

Eliminating malaria could save economies $270 billion in sub-Saharan Africa alone.
World Malaria Day is commemorated every year on April 25 and recognises global efforts to control malaria. Globally, 3.3 billion people in 106 countries are at risk of malaria. In 2012, malaria caused an estimated 627,000 deaths, mostly among African children. Asia, Latin America, and to a lesser extent the Middle East and parts of Europe are also affected.
  • Published in World

8240 reported cases of malaria in DK in the year 2014

Mangaluru: The year 2014 was apparently a  good year for mosquitoes in Dakshina Kannada as compared to Udupi Dist.  There were 8240 reported cases of malaria in DK as compared to 1639 in Udupi. Of these Mangaluru alone contributed 7,313 cases in the year 2014. Malaria cases in Udupi District stood at 1,639. This information came from the Joint Director (Malaria and  Filaria),  Dr B G Prakash during the Malaria Co-ordination Committee meeting convened here on Thursday, January 22.

Apparently the number of cases have gone up rather than come down, since 2013. Dr Prakash said, 5,660 cases were reported in DK in 2013 and Udupi recorded 2,205 cases. The epidemiological study also highlighted that malaria cases (88 %)in urban area was more when compared to the cases (12 %) in rural areas, he added.

This spurt in the number of cases, has rung alarm bells among  health officials especially as their best efforts have not been able to arrest the slide. He stressed the need  for various departments as well general public to join hands to reduce malaria morbidity rate.

Major contributors
It is clear that the urban areas are the major contributor of  malaria cases, but how?  It has come to light that the migrant labor  who majorly work in the construction and the hotel industry,  especially from malaria prone regions such as Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Orissa are a major cause of concern.

 Though mobile units have been conducting periodical tests in construction sites, not all laborers participate in the test, Dr Prakash said.  On the other hand, Social worker Suresh Shetty alleged that the builders are not serious of  making such testing mandatory for their migrant labour. "There have been instances when the builders have shunned the health officials when they came to the sites to conduct tests," he said.

Dakshina Kannada District Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim, endorsed these views. “The builders have become complacent. They are not able to understand the seriousness of the problem. The Mangalore City Corporation should consider suspending the license of builders as a disciplinary action for not abiding by the orders to conduct tests," the DC advised.

Action plan
The DC, outlining an action plan, said, "Within ten days a meeting with all the departmental officials will be conducted to discuss the effective way in which malaria eradication programme can be implemented”.

Mangaluru City Commissioner Hephsiba Rani Korlapatti said, "within a fortnight the corporation would make a comprehensive effort to organise workshops and awareness in co-ordination with the health department."

District Health Officer Dr Ramakrishna, District Wenlock Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Rajeshwari Devi were present.

  • Published in Mangaluru
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