Malaria is preventable and treatable, but it continues to have devastating effects on the health and livelihoods of people around the world. In 2020, there were approximately 241 million new malaria cases and 627,000 malaria-related deaths in 85 countries. According to the World Malaria Report 2021, India accounts for 83% of cases in the WHO South-East Asia Region. In India, malaria threatens a population of about 1.26 billion people and is responsible for an economic burden of $1.9 billion.
Malaria No More, a leading non-governmental organization working for malaria elimination in India, has underlined its commitment to support India’s goal of eliminating malaria by 2030. The NGO has been working at the last mile, in the Koraput and Malkangiri districts of Odisha, to address malaria in these high endemic zones. To ensure access to malaria care, Malaria Know More has trained Doots and Saathis (their field workforce) to mobilize tribal communities and actively participate in each phase of detection, treatment and notification. Through these efforts, Malaria No More has managed to reduce the transmission by more than 40% in the last year and ensure a 100% treatment completion rate and zero deaths from malaria in its area of operations.
Commenting on the forthcoming phase of malaria elimination, Mr. Pratik Kumar, India Country Director, Malaria No More, emphasizes the integration of technology and says, “Malaria has been one of India’s long-standing public health problems. While we have achieved commendable success in fighting the disease, we continue to face several barriers to reach elimination. Accelerating introduction and scaling of new tools & technologies is key in surveillance, treatment, and care. Using these new tools and technologies to enhance access to care at the last mile will be crucial in achieving malaria elimination. There is a need for a robust plan to accelerate ongoing efforts and achieve the ambitious goal of our nation to eliminate malaria by 2030.”
In addition to providing essential health services, the NGO spreads health education messages about malaria, ensures the use of mosquito nets and organizes village clean-up campaigns to equip communities with the knowledge to combat malaria. The organization has ensured over 90% usage of (long-lasting insecticidal nets) LLINs through regular night surveillance.