India stands committed to eliminating Malaria and is committed to allocating infrastructure and financial resources to this task, JP Nadda, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare said here today. The Health Minister launched the National Framework for MalariaElimination (NFME) 2016-2030, which outlines India’s strategy for elimination of the disease by 2030.
Speaking on the occasion he said, “This framework has been developed with a vision to eliminate malaria from the country and contribute to improved health and quality of life and alleviation of poverty”. The Minister stated that the NFME document clearly defines goals, objectives, strategies, targets and timelines and will serve as a roadmap for advocating and planning malaria elimination in the country in a phased manner.
Terming the launch of the national framework for elimination of Malaria by 2030 as historic in view of the public health challenge posed by mosquito-borne illnesses, BP Sharma, Health Secretary highlighted the importance of the segmented approach in tackling the issue. Eliminating Malaria will result in cutting down on expenditure on diseases control programme, and will help in reducing out-of-pocket expenditure too, he noted. He said that while diagnostic kits and medicines are available everywhere, the delivery mechanism has to be streamlined for better outcomes.
The objectives of the NFME are to: 1) eliminate malaria from all low (Category 1) and moderate (Category 2) endemic states/UTs (26) by 2022; 2) reduce incidence of malaria to less than 1 case per 1000 population in all States/UTs and the districts and malaria elimination in 31 states/UTs by 2024; 3) interrupt indigenous transmission of malaria in all States/ UTs (Category 3) by 2027; 4) prevent re-establishment of local transmission of malaria in areas where it has been eliminated and to maintain malaria-free status of the country by 2030. The milestones and targets are set for 2016, 2020, 2022, 2024, 2027 and 2030 by when the entire country has sustained zero indigenous cases and deaths due to malaria for 3 years and initiated the processes for certification of malaria elimination status to the country.
Dr. Nafsiah Mboi, Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) Envoy said that the launch of the document demonstrates renewed commitment and strategic thinking on India’s part, and is a significant effort for the malaria elimination efforts and goals of the region and globally also. She highlighted the importance of community mobilization and sustenance of momentum of efforts. The elimination will produce multiple benefits, she said, adding that it will help to build systems to fight other mosquito-borne illnesses also.
PoonamKhetrapal Singh, Regional Director, SEARO, WHO emphasized that investment on malaria control and prevention activities will result in almost 20 times gains in reducing healthcare cost in addition to bringing down the burden of diseases.
Acknowledging India’s leadership in the region in the health sector, Dr. Mark Dybul, Executive Director, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) said that India’s efforts in eliminating Malaria is key to the global efforts in this direction.