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State sees rise in malaria cases, deaths in 2023 as against 2022

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SHILLONG, June 13: Meghalaya saw an increase in malaria cases and deaths in 2023 compared to 2022, with South Garo Hills District contributing to most cases.
To raise awareness against the disease, the Deputy Director of Health Services (Malaria) and State Programme Officer for the National Centre for Vector Borne Diseases Control (NCVBDC) in Meghalaya has announced that June will once again be observed as Anti-Malaria Month, ahead of the monsoon, which is also a period of transmission of most malaria cases.
On April 25, 2024, Meghalaya joined the rest of the country in observing World Malaria Day under the theme ‘Accelerating the Fight Against Malaria for a More Equitable World’. Various activities were conducted statewide to raise awareness about malaria prevention and control, intensifying efforts to achieve zero indigenous cases by 2027 and eliminate malaria by 2030.
To sustain momentum toward malaria elimination, the state has planned numerous activities.
With malaria surveillance as a core intervention, mass screenings are being conducted in remote and hard-to-reach villages by malaria workers and ASHAs. All fever cases are being screened during VHND sessions, focusing on universal access to early malaria diagnosis and prompt treatment. ASHAs and malaria programme workers are trained for blood slide collection, rapid diagnostic  tests (RDTs), and are equipped with antimalarials to ensure early diagnosis and complete treatment.
Awareness campaigns are also being held in schools and villages, involving students, Village Health Councils, NGOs, faith-based organisations, student groups, and traditional healers.
These campaigns promote anti-malarial strategies such as testing every fever for malaria, using long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), and preventing mosquito breeding by adhering to Swachh Bharat activities and avoiding stagnant water.
“We urge everyone to join hands and pledge to achieve malaria elimination in Meghalaya by 2030, in line with the rest of the country,” said the Deputy Director of Health Services.

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