Mumbai likely to soon be malaria-free, claims BMC

According to Mumbai civic body, malaria cases have declined by 85% in last 5 years. Data states as against 69 deaths in 2011, Mumbai has registered only seven deaths in 2016

Pic courtesy: Shutterstock
Pic courtesy: Shutterstock

Malaria may soon be history in Mumbai if Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) continues its fight against it. After seeing a decrease of around 85% in malaria cases in last five years in city, BMC now aims to expedite its process to eliminate the vector-borne disease. Recently, World Health Organisation (WHO) certified Sri Lanka malaria-free.

Malaria is a vector-borne disease that is transmitted to humans through bite of Anopheles mosquito.

“Mumbai is close to achieving its mission of eliminating malaria. We have been following standard operating procedures listed with National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme for last one year,” said Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer, BMC.

She said these strategies have helped BMC lessen number of malaria cases in city.

According to the corporation’s data, malaria cases have declined by 85% in last 5 years.

“In 2011, Mumbai reported 69 deaths and in 2016, only seven deaths have been reported,” added Keskar.

She insisted on prevention control methods and early diagnosis for malaria control.

“As part of our measures, we spray insecticides at mosquito-breeding spots. We have coordinate with different government bodies and other authorities like railways, construction sites, among others who are in charge of water bodies. We also coordinate with private doctors,” said Keskar.

Private practitioners agreed with BMC’s claim that the city has registered less number of malaria cases. “We are definitely seeing less number of malaria cases. To achieve malaria-free city status, both Mumbaikars and government has to work in tandem. We hope our city and country achieves the status soon,” said Dr Pratit Samdhani, general physician, Jaslok Hospital.

Dr Jayesh Lele, immediate past president of IMA Maharashtra, said, “Compared to few years back, there is a lot of awareness among people. We now have treatment protocols in place too. People are aware about treatment and investigation needed as well as the compulsion of relapse treatment. Sanitation and cleanliness is helping us.”