Kohima, April 26: Nagaland has made significant progress in the fight against malaria, according to a presentation given by State Programme Officer, National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), Dr. Neisakho Kere, during World Malaria Day in Kohima.
The state has seen a reduction in malaria-positive cases from 8,479 in 2009 to just five in 2022. During the same period, malaria-related deaths fell from 35 to zero.
Dr. Kere noted that while the highest number of malaria-positive cases was 8,479 in 2009, this number fell to five in 2022. The districts of Dimapur, Kohima, Peren, and Phek reported positive cases while others reported none.
Malaria deaths, which peaked at 75 in 2006, were second highest in 2009 with 35 fatalities. After one patient’s death in 2016, however, there have been no malaria-related deaths in Nagaland from 2017 to 2022.
Dr. Kere stated that India is aiming for zero malaria cases by 2030 and that eight districts in Nagaland have no positive cases. He added that Pf (Plasmodium falciparum) and Pv (Plasmodium vivax) are the two types of malaria parasites that infect humans.
Pf causes the most severe and fatal form of the disease and is responsible for the most malaria deaths worldwide. However, if diagnosed early, both forms are completely curable.
Principal Director of the Health and Family Welfare Department, Dr. Vibeituouno M. Sachu, stated that the National Centre for Vector Borne Disease Control is making steady progress toward a malaria-free Nagaland. He noted that the state still has a long way to go to achieve its goal of being malaria-free.
Commissioner and Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, Y. Kikheto Sema, called for an awareness campaign and cleanliness drive involving all sections of society to help the state achieve its goal of eliminating malaria by 2030.
Three Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) under Kohima district health centres were also honoured for their work in collecting blood samples for malaria testing and raising awareness.
The reduction in malaria-positive cases and malaria-related deaths in Nagaland is a major accomplishment for the state’s healthcare system. It underscores the importance of awareness campaigns, cleanliness drives, and prompt diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Nagaland can serve as an example for other states to follow in the fight against malaria.