With public awareness camps,presence of anti-larval teams and Early-Case Detection and Prompt Treatment teams on the field,this year,the Malaria Department of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDP),Chandigarh is gearing up to fight the mosquitoes.
Dr Naresh Kumar,Assistant Director,Malaria,said,The malaria season,which starts from May-June,becomes more severe in July-August. In 2012,225 malaria cases were reported in Chandigarh,which was about 40% less than 2011. This year,no case has been reported yet.
To fight the malaria,this year,our anti-larval teams have already started working from April,public awareness camps are going on and from May 1,DDT sprays and the Early Case Detection and Prompt Treatment (EDPT) programme will start, he said.
Dr Naresh said that EDPT also consists of special home visit teams,under which the workers go from door to door and ask about high fever or malaria cases and those that are detected are provided with treatment at home itself.
Our main focus remains on rural,semi-rural and slum dwellers,but it does not mean that we ignore urban population, he added.
Dr Mukhmohit,an epidemiologist,says,Responsibility and accountability of people is most important to prevent malaria. People causing mosquito-genic situations in or around their house/ workplace will be issued a notice for correction and defaulters will be penalized and punished under Section 188 of the IPC. Last year,more than 300 such notices were issued,but this year we have not started issuing the notices yet.
Dr Mukhmohit further added,The common symptoms of malaria are fever,headache,vomiting and other flu-like symptoms. A person who has fever with chill should immediately go for a blood test. Pregnant women are less capable of coping with and clearing malarial infections,which adversely affects the unborn foetus.
According to the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDP) report,Malaria is a public health problem in several parts of the country. About 95% of the population in the country resides in endemic areas and 80% of malaria reported in the country is confined to areas consisting of 20% of population residing in tribal,hilly,difficult and inaccessible areas.
This year,17 malaria cases in Punjab and 73 malaria cases,3 P. faciparum (most deadly form of malaria) cases have been reported in Punjab and Haryana. In 2012,Punjab witnessed 1697 malaria cases and 43 pf cases and Haryana had 23,727 malaria,490 pf cases and one death, NVBDP report.