BY | December 18, 2010

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.

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  • Frank Murray

    My new book, Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene Are Miracle Workers, just published by Gyan Books, New Delhi, describes how the 2 low-cost vitamins can help millions of people, who succumb to HIV/AIDS, measles, malaria, diarrhea, blindness, etc., each year. Doctors can save many children with measles in 2 days with 100,000 to 200,000 IU of vitamin A. In one study, 40.15% of the children with malaria had a vitamin A deficiency. In another study, children 6 to 90 months of age received either 200,000 IU of vitamin A or a look-alike pill ever 4 months. Those under 12 months were given 100,000 IU. The supplemented children had significantly fewer clinic attendances, hospital admissions, and death than those given the fake pill.
    Deaths from acute gastroenteritis were also lower with the vitamin A group. It is possible that trying to kill mosquitoes is a losing battle, so more effort should be don on how to save malaria patients. The P. falciparum family of mosquitoes is the same family that killed King Tut and his family, who lived in the marshes along the Nile in 1323 B.C. Do we really think we can eliminate all of the mosquitos in the world; there are too many isolated ponds where they can breed. We can still try, but we should spend more time helping malaria patients. Many who need the drugs cannot afford them, and, in some areas, counterfeit drugs are worthless. A member of the New York Academy of Sciences, I am the author and coauthor of 54 books on health and nutrition. My diabetes book was recently added to the official government libraries in India, Kashmir, and Jammu. Thank you, Frank Murray, New York