1. Meghalaya Health Department links online gaming to rising malaria deaths among youths.
2. In 2023, all eight malaria-related deaths were under 30, a typically healthy demographic.
3. Concerns arise about the impact of online gaming on malaria incidence among young adults.

Shillong, May 23: The Meghalaya Health Department has recently identified a concerning trend linking online gaming to the surge in malaria-related deaths among young people in the state.

In 2023, all eight reported malaria-related deaths were individuals under the age of 30, a demographic typically considered to be in good health.

Meghalaya has grappled with significant malaria challenges, experiencing a peak of 48,603 cases in 2015.

However, data from India’s National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) shows a gradual decrease in malaria incidence over the past decade.

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Despite this overall decline, the state witnessed an increase in malaria deaths from three in 2021 to eight in 2022.

A senior official from the health department has voiced concerns about the emerging trend of mobile gaming in rural areas, highlighting it as a contributing factor to the rise in malaria cases.