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SASTM Newsflash - Malaria - India (Goa and Andhra Pradesh)

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MALARIA - INDIA: (GOA, ANDHRA PRADESH)

 

 

A few malaria cases have been reported among the local population and staff of barges anchored at the dry docks along the Zuari river at Cortalim (Goa).

 

Health authorities have cautioned the vessels' owners and others to maintain hygiene in the area. A press note issued by the Cortalim primary health centre (PHC) states that the Captain of Ports has been informed about the large number of vessels docked along the riverfront of the village due to the halt in mining operations in Goa.

 

The hanging tyres on the sides of the barges filled with water are the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and this has led to some barge workers and locals contracting malaria, the note states.

 

Cautioning against the consequences of not maintaining hygiene in the area, the note stresses: "This will lead to serious consequences if the rate of infection goes on increasing." All owners, masters of barges, shipyards, dry docks, passenger launches and other fishing trawlers have been advised to prevent stagnation of water in such tyres. "The simplest way could be to drill a hole at the bottom of the tyres so that the water drains out," the statement concludes.

 

 

Poor vector-control measures by Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) have led to a massive rise in malaria cases in the twin cities, experts said on Wednesday [9 Jan 2013]. Hyderabad recorded 51 malaria cases in December 2012 against 5 cases in the previous year.

 

What has been more disconcerting for authorities is that there were 9 cases in the last 9 days alone, official records from the malaria wing of the Directorate Of Health states. "Normally, during November and December, the mosquito-borne diseases decline, but the high numbers this year [2013] only reflect that the vector control measures such as spraying are not being taken care of adequately," said a general physician, who has seen several cases in the last week.

 

Experts said mosquitoes are breeding despite the fact that there were no unusual rains this season. "The malaria parasite disappears over the winter, but in Hyderabad, the mosquito-borne disease is continuing to haunt people," said another specialist.

 

The majority of cases are being reported from the Old City and Amberpet, said Dr D Shalini Devi, chief medical officer, GHMC. "Areas along the Musi belt are contributing to the high numbers. We have conducted medical camps in these areas," said Dr Shalini. She said during the month of January [2013], a total of 13 malaria cases were reported. However, residents claim that no action is being taken by the GHMC despite complaints. They also said that the Old City remains the most neglected area when it comes to healthcare services.

 

"We have not seen a single medical camp being organised in our area in Puranapul. We have been complaining to the officials about the mosquito menace in our area, but no action has been taken," said M Mallanna, a local trader. Amberpet, Bahadurpura, Uppuguda, Vattepally, Toli Chowki, Hakimpet, Seven Tombs, Golconda, and Mehdipatnam are some of the areas that continue to suffer from the mosquito menace.

 

Last year [2012] during the monsoon season, the government organised several anti-malaria campaigns in the city, where they highlighted how mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, dengue and chikungunya can be controlled by effective measures taken by residents. Officials said public participation is required to control the spurt of vector-borne diseases, but people generally do not bother clearing stagnant water or cleaning coolers regularly.

 

Malaria is among the top 5 killer diseases which affect millions of Indians every year, and despite several measures undertaken by the central government, the menace continues.

 

Communicated by: ProMED-mail

 

 

[Goa is a major tourist destination, and the report demonstrates that there is a human reservoir, and once the transmission potential increases, the numbers of human cases also increase. Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh is usually considered a low risk area for malaria. Both reports emphasize that malaria is still a public health concern in India.]

 

 


 

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The information provided in SASTM Newsflashes is collected from various news sources, health agencies and government agencies. Although the information is believed to be accurate, any express or implied warranty as to its suitability for any purpose is categorically disclaimed. In particular, this information should not be construed to serve as medical advice for any individual. The health information provided is general in nature, and may not be appropriate for all persons. Medical advice may vary because of individual differences in such factors as health risks, current medical conditions and treatment, allergies, pregnancy and breast feeding, etc. In addition, global health risks are constantly evolving and changing. International travelers should consult a qualified physician for medical advice prior to departure.

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