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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 98-99

Identifying the path and the areas of focus to accomplish malaria eradication: World Health Organization


1 Vice-Principal Curriculum, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission28-Aug-2019
Date of Decision19-Oct-2019
Date of Acceptance18-Dec-2019
Date of Web Publication23-Apr-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu - 603 108
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/bjhs.bjhs_44_19

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  Abstract 


Malaria is a life-threatening infectious disease presenting an enormous burden on the health care delivery system, in terms of cases and the attributed deaths. The epidemiological analysis of the trends of the disease and the mortality rates since 2015, it has been reported that we have not succeeded in reducing them. However, the encouraging fact is that since 2010, 8 nations have succeeded in eliminating the disease. Obviously, we are aiming for the global eradication of the disease in the long run, as it won't only play a role in saving human lives, but also in strengthening of the national economy. On a bright note, we have succeeded in developing new tools for diagnosis, medications, passive immunization and even the first malarial vaccine. In conclusion, the time has come to rise to the challenge of malaria eradication and it will essentially require sustained political commitment, financial support and adoption of new tools & a strategic approach.

Keywords: Malaria, Eradication, Public health


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Identifying the path and the areas of focus to accomplish malaria eradication: World Health Organization. BLDE Univ J Health Sci 2021;6:98-9

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Identifying the path and the areas of focus to accomplish malaria eradication: World Health Organization. BLDE Univ J Health Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Apr 14];6:98-9. Available from: https://www.bldeujournalhs.in/text.asp?2021/6/1/98/283084



Malaria is a life threatening infectious disease, which is preventable through the use of standard measures and curable because of the availability of highly effective medications.[1] However, the disease presents an enormous burden on the health care delivery system, in terms of cases (220 million) and the attributed 0.43 million deaths due to the resulting complications such as anemia, pregnancy loss, and childhood mortality in the year 2017 alone.[2] Even though the disease is present in close to 100 nations, the African region accounts for > 90% of cases as well as associated deaths.[2] Acknowledging all these facts and the impact on quality of life and the effect on the growth of the nation, it becomes an urgent global public health priority to eliminate the disease.[1],[2],[3]

Current situation

Based on the epidemiological analysis of the trends of the disease and the mortality rates since 2015, it has been reported that we have not succeeded in reducing them.[2] This indicates that we have almost stagnated in our efforts in controlling the disease and that is one of the key reasons that we are off track to accomplish to the global target of a 90% decline in the incidence and mortality rates by 2030.[2],[4] However, the encouraging fact is that since 2010, eight nations have not reported any case of malaria for a minimum of 3 consecutive years and thus accomplished elimination status.[2] Further, the good thing is that the tools and strategies which have been employed by these nations for accomplishing elimination are very much available for the governments and stakeholders.[2],[3],[4],[5]

Way Forward

Obviously, we are aiming for the global eradication of the disease in the long run, as it will play a role not only in saving human lives, but also in strengthening the national economy.[4] However, this will not be possible until the national governments and other concerned stakeholders acknowledge it as their priority and work in a concerted manner to not only plan and implement effective strategies, but also tailor made the strategies based on the geographical

The ground reality is that even <1% of the total funding for the program is allocated for research and development activities.[2],[4] However, it has been emphasized on various platforms that for meeting the goal of eradneeds.[4],[5] There are no doubts that to keep all the gains sustained or even improvise them, there is a definite need for financial support, which is very much less in the current setup, especially for the endemic nations.[4],[5],[6]

Areas of concern

The ground reality is that even <1% of the total funding for the program is allocated for research and development activities.[2],[4] However, it has been emphasized on various platforms that for meeting the goal of eradication of disease, we will essentially require strengthening of research and development activities for the identification of novel tools for the prevention and treatment of the disease.[3],[4] This is a crucial aspect as most of the tools employed in the prevention and control of disease have been developed in the last century, and either their effectiveness over the course of time has reduced or the agent has developed resistance to the insecticide/antimalarial drug.[3],[4],[5],[6]

On a bright note, we have succeeded in developing new tools for diagnosis, medications, passive immunization, and even the first malarial vaccine which has been deployed already in two nations.[4] At the same time, interventions have to be taken to ensure that everyone should be in a position to access prevention, diagnostic, and treatment modalities whenever they are in need of them.[2],[3],[4] Finally, it has to be a multisectoral approach and liaison should be established with all concerned agencies, including private sector.[3],[4],[5]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, the time has come to rise to the challenge of malaria eradication and it will essentially require sustained political commitment, financial support, and adoption of new tools and a strategic approach. However, this will essentially require a conscious involvement and support of the common people, in the absence of which none of the programs or initiatives can be successful in the long run.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Global update on malaria control and status in Sub-Saharan Africa. Cukurova Med J 2017;42:592-3.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. Malaria – Key Facts. World Health Organization; 2019. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/malaria. [Last accessed on 2019 Aug 29].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Shahandeh K, Basseri HR. Challenges and the path forward on malaria elimination intervention: A systematic review. Iran J Public Health 2019;48:1004-13.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. Rising to the challenge of malaria eradication. World Health Organization; 2019. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/23-08-2019-rising-to-the-challenge-of-malaria- eradication. [Last accessed on 2019 Aug 29].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Aiming for malaria elimination: World Health Organization. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:315-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
  [Full text]  
6.
Lindblade KA, Li XH, Galappaththy GL, Noor A, Kolaczinski J, Alonso PL. Country-owned, country-driven: Perspectives from the World Health Organization on malaria elimination. Methods Mol Biol 2019;2013:3-27.  Back to cited text no. 6
    




 

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