Aligarh: Prof. M. Ashraf Malik, Principal and Chief Medical Superintendent, J.N. Medical College while addressing the National Symposium on Malaria – An Update organized by Department of Microbiology said that in the present scenario when India contributes to about 70% of Malaria in the South East Asian Region of World Health Organization (WHO), there are about two million cases and 1000 deaths attributable to malaria annually.
Prof. Malik said that the National Malaria Eradication programme suffered repeated set-backs since then due to technical, operational and the usual administrative complacency. He informed that according to Indian researchers the Malaria kills around 205000 people in India each year, more than 13 times, the estimate made by the WHO. He further said that the real problem is due to the fact that the definition of death due to malaria requires demonstration of malaria parasite in the peripheral blood, which is an unattainable goal in a highly diverse country with bulk of population in rural areas.
Prof. Malik said that in recent years the economic loss has been calculated to the tune of rupees 68,600 Crore versus an expenditure of rupees 3,467.9 crore if the malaria control programs are implemented sincerely. The net savings due to malaria control was estimated at rupees 65,132 Crore. That is for every rupee invested in malaria control shall produce a direct return of rupees 19.70 paisa and the estimated man-days saved will be 1,328.75 million per year.
Prof. Abida Malik, Orgnaizing Chairman said that Malaria is endemic in India, distributed throughout the length and breadth of the country and almost more than 90% population is at risk of the disease. She said that there are estimated 70-100 million cases each year, of these, 50-55% are Plasmodium vivax and 45-50% arePlasmodium falciparum. Now Malaria is entering towns and new territories slowly but steadily, such as towns in the states of Karnataka, Goa, Orissa, Kerala and in certain Union Territories like Delhi. She briefly highlighted the challenges and the possible opportunities to rectify these challenges like – Insecticide resistance in vectors, Rapid diagnostic facilities, Drug resistance, Lack of awareness of true disease burden of Malaria and Impact of projected global warming.
Earlier, Prof. S. Abrar Hasan, Dean Faculty of Medicien inaugurated the Symposium and said that the recent outbreak of Haemorrhagic fever has brought our attention to other diseases like Malaria which has again become an important cause of morbidity.
Dr. Fatima Shujatullah, Organization Secretary of the Programme said that this symposium will provide a forum for exchange of knowledge, ideas and solve queries on epidemiological, diagnostic and clinical aspects in the field of malaria diagnosis, management and control. She hoped that the deliberations of this symposium would be fruitful from academic as well as clinical point of view.
Prof. Haris M. Khan, Convener of the Symposium proposed vote of thanks and Dr. Mahvash conducted the programme.