World Malaria Day 2022: World Malaria Day is observed annually on April 15 to highlight the need for the prevention and control of the life-threatening disease. Malaria is caused by a parasite which is transmitted to humans through a certain type of mosquito. When an infected female Anopheles mosquito bites a person, it injects the Plasmodium parasites into the bloodstream thus infecting him.
Although the disease is curable and preventable, there were around 241 million cases of malaria in 2020 worldwide, as per a report by the World Health Organisation. In addition, the deadly disease also claimed the lives of 6.27 lakh people worldwide in 2020.
However, there are some countries who have been able to successfully eradicate Malaria. The WHO has granted malaria-free certification to 40 countries and territories globally. Of these, China is the latest country which was declared malaria free by the WHO. Other recent countries to join the malaria-free club are El Salvador (2021), Argentina (2019), Paraguay (2018), and Uzbekistan (2018).
In India, no state so far has been able to completely eliminate Malaria. In 2019, India accounted for 88 per cent of malaria cases and 86 percent of deaths due to malaria in the WHO South-East Asia region. It is also the only country outside Africa which is among the 11 ‘high burden to high impact’ countries.
India is now on the road to reach zero malaria cases by the year 2030. It is a signatory to the National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) and has been making efforts to achieve the goal. By taking adequate measures, India was able to reduce the number of malaria cases by 60 per cent as compared to 2017 and recorded 46 per cent reduction as compared to 2018.
Odisha is one of the states that is moving closer to achieving the malaria-free goal. The state government had announced last year that it recorded a 90 per cent reduction in malaria cases in the last three years.