Odisha performance pushed down India’s malaria count for 2017: WHO

Odisha’s sterling performance in cutting down the number of malaria cases reported in 2017 helped make India, the only country among the top five nations reporting the disease, to register a decline in cases, according to a report published by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“The country (India) registered a 24 per cent reduction in cases (from 2016 to 2017), largely due to substantial declines of the disease in the highly malarious state of Odisha, home to approximately 40 per cent of all malaria cases in the country,” WHO said in a Q&A published on its website.

According to WHO, by 2017, India accounted for four percent of the global burden of malaria morbidity and 52 percent of deaths outside of the WHO African Region, despite “impressive gains”.

The report commends the Odisha government for its rigorous training to detect and treat malaria and also to prevent outbreaks. The global body states that as per government data, the number of malaria cases in the state (July-December) 2017 fell by nearly 50 percent to 156,000, compared to the same time period in 2016. Overall, India in WHO’s 2017 assessment period, reported three million fewer cases — a fall of 24 percent —from the previous year.

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