Odisha: Malaria control interventions lead to 85% decline in malaria cases

Results showed a 85 per cent decline in average monthly malaria cases in four districts from Odisha, namely Angul, Dhenkanal, Kandhamal and Dolangir. Mass screening of malaria is also on-going in 22 districts

Odisha: Malaria control interventions lead to 85% decline in malaria cases
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  • A model project to strengthen malaria control interventions has shown an 85% decline in average monthly malaria cases in four districts of Odisha
  • The joint project by Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Malaria Research (ICMR-NIMR), National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) Odisha and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) achieved the feat in intervention areas from the period when universal access to malaria services was reached pre 2013-2015 to post 2016-2017.
  • The results of the project Comprehensive Case Management Programme (CCMP) were shared on World Health Day (April 7, 2018).

Mass screening for malaria in inaccessible villages and hamlets introduced by CCMP led to the creation of a new state initiative called Durgama Anchalare Malaria Nirakaran (DAMaN) – malaria control in inaccessible areas which is on-going successfully across 22 districts.

Dr Prameela Baral, Additional Director, NVBDCP Odisha said that DAMaN has reduced malaria incidence and improved the nutritional status for mother and child leading to a reduction in under-five mortality and maternal mortality.

Dr Neena Valecha, Director, ICMR-NIMR elaborated that the 5-year collaborative operational research programme with NVBDCP Odisha had served as a “living laboratory for the study of improved malaria case management”. It received technical and financial support from MMV, Geneva.

CCMP was started in 2013 in pairs of intervention and control blocks in 4 districts with different transmission intensities and catered to a population of 9,00,000 people in Odisha.

CCMP rigorously implemented the World Health Organization’s Test-Treat-Track initiative that urged malaria-endemic countries to scale up diagnostic testing, treatment and surveillance for malaria. The programme provided universal access to malaria diagnosis and treatment, and improved the quality of services and surveillance.

Dr Pramod Kumar Meherda, IAS, Commissioner-cum-Secretary Health and Family Welfare Department Odisha stated that, “The learning experience from CCMP gave rise to many innovative practices that were successfully implemented. We now need to sustain the gains to ensure our goals for elimination of malaria by 2027.”

Dr Brajakishore Brahma, Director of Health Services, Odisha, stated that, “The experience from this project has given rise to the conceptualisation of DAMaN which is on-going successfully across 22 districts.”

Dr Madan Mohan Pradhan, Additional District Public Health Officer, NVBDCP Odisha said that “CCMP learning experience and several best practices from CCMP have been incorporated into the existing NVBDCP programme. The most notable is the CCMP mass screening and treatment of patients in inaccessible areas which led to the creation of DAMaN.”

CCMP has also pioneered the use of DHIS2 (an open-source web-based surveillance for malaria) to improve surveillance and is currently being scaled up by NVBDCP in two districts in Odisha as part of larger pilot.