The tiny northeastern state of Tripura, once a hotspot of Malaria, has succeeded to combat the disease significantly due to active surveillance, diagnosis, treatment and relentless awareness.
"Over the past three years, the tally of malaria deaths has come down significantly due to extensive mass awareness drive, proper screening, real-time diagnosis and complete treatment arranged by the government," said Dr Bansari Das, State Programme Officer for Malaria.
At present, around 150 medical teams are working tirelessly on the ground amid the challenges thrown by the Covid 2.0 to combat malaria, covering all the malaria-prone zones, the official said.
"A special initiative has been taken for mass screening in 110 endemic sub-centres to cut the transmission cycle and reduce the human reservoir. The medical teams are conducting random sample testing even in remotest parts of the state while raising awareness through various programmes", Dr Das said.
One IEC Van has been prepared with multi-colour flexes and a sound system, which is moving throughout the state for awareness generation. In case of positive cases, the patients are being hospitalised or else followed up by ASHA/ other health workers to ensure complete treatment.
"In 2018, Tripura had witnessed twelve deaths with a report of 12,437 identified cases while in 2019, the number of deaths had come down to one with 3673 cases and two deaths among 3671 cases last year. Significantly, Tripura registered only 207 malaria cases so far in the current year with no report of even a single death", the official said.
According to the statistics, the state had reported 96 Malaria deaths in 2014, which reduced to only two in 2020, a significant achievement towards eradicating the disease.
According to the statistics, the state had reported 96 Malaria deaths in 2014, which reduced to only two in 2020, a significant achievement towards eradicating the disease."As the Tripura Government has now set its target to drop down the number of malaria deaths at zero, the preparedness has also been strengthened-- no stone is being left unturned even amid the Covid-induced challenges", the SPO who is closely dealing with Malaria told Fit Northeast.
The major malaria-prone zones of Tripura are Longtarai Valley, Ambassa, Gandacherra, Karbook, Amarpur, Sabroom, Teliamura and Dasda sub-divisions.
Earlier, the healthcare staff had to face challenges as the superstition had been a strong belief among a section of people. In case of any disease like malaria, they used to go to Ojhas (witch priest) instead of visiting the healthcare institutions.
The superstition still exists in some remote rural pockets of the state but the extensive mass awareness campaign initiated by the Tripura chapter of the National Health Mission has succeeded to a great extent to bring in a positive change.
However, we are facing the major challenge that the cycle doesn't repeat. We are keeping a close vigil on the ground situation, she said.