On Tuesday, Union Minister Bharati Pravin Pawar told the Rajya Sabha that it cannot be said that dengue, malaria and kala-azar are spreading in the country. She cited data to stress that cases of the three vector-borne diseases have declined in the last few years.
As many as 1,64,103 dengue cases were reported during 2021 against 2,05,243 cases in 2019. By the efforts of the Union government and the states, the case fatality rate has been at less than 1 per cent since 2008, the union minister of state for health said. "The case fatality rate has remained at an extremely low level of 0.1 per cent since 2019," she said.
Pawar said the number of Kala-Azar cases has been showing a decline of 35.3 per cent during 2021 as compared to the corresponding period of 2020 and the disease is endemic in only four states. As for malaria, she said it is endemic in India.
India has achieved a reduction of 84 per cent in malaria morbidity and 76 per cent in malaria mortality between 2015 and 2020. In 2021 (till September provisionally), there was a 19.97 per cent decline in malaria cases and a 23.73 per cent decline in malaria deaths compared to the corresponding period of 2020.
"Accordingly, it cannot be said that the three vector-borne diseases are spreading in the country," the minister stated in reply to a question whether it is a fact that dengue, kala-azar and malaria are spreading in various states in the country. As far as dengue is concerned, Pawar said the Government of India continuously monitors the situation.
In 2021, multidisciplinary Central teams were deputed to Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir from August 28 to November 19.
They analyzed data on the dengue situation and assessed the functional status of diagnostic facilities, availability of test kits, logistics, vector control measures, inter-sectoral coordination and visited affected areas and health facilities, the minister said.
The Government of India has taken several measures for prevention and control of dengue which includes providing technical guidelines for prevention and control, case management and effective community participation to the states for implementation, she said.
As many as 7.26 Lakh IgM tests have been provided by the Centre. Additional funds have been provided to states for procurement of NS1 kits for early diagnosis, Pawar said. Under the National Health Mission, necessary and sufficient budgetary support is provided to states and Union Territories for dengue control activities, she said.
Prevention and control of other vector-borne diseases such as malaria and kala-azar include integrated vector management that involve indoor residual spraying in selected high-risk areas, long-lasting insecticidal nets in high malaria-endemic areas, use of larvivorous fish, anti-larval measures in urban areas including bio-larvicides and minor environmental engineering and source reduction for prevention of breeding.
The measures also include disease management involving early case detection with active, passive and sentinel surveillance followed by complete and effective treatment, strengthening of referral services, epidemic preparedness and rapid response and supportive interventions aiming at Behaviour Change Communication, inter-sectoral convergence and human resource development through capacity building, the minister said.
-With PTI Inputs