The Odisha government on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Tata Trusts to target elimination of malaria in 15 years.
The collaboration is to use innovation in mass screening in inaccessible areas for early diagnosis and treatment, strengthen communications for improving practices among people and deploy technology in controlling malaria in high-endemic districts of southern Odisha.
The MoU was signed in the presence of state Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak.
Nayak said the government is fully committed to keep malaria under control and move towards the elimination, keeping pace with country&’s mission.
Eight coastal districts have very low malaria burden i.e. less than one case per 1000 population per year.
Our NVBDCP division is planning to increase the surveillance in this region and make this a zero malaria zone within the next few years, he said.
Besides malaria, we are concerned over maternal, infant and child mortality, high prevelance of anemia and malnutrition. Human resource crunch will be there in the state and geographical difficulties cannot be overcome overnight. With technology and out-of-the-box solutions, we can think of catering to the inaccessible corridors, he observed.
Principal secretary, health, Arati Ahuja informed about various steps taken to control malaria in Odisha.
With a common focus on the elimination of malaria by 2030 and improving the overall quality of life of communities, the partnership plans on strengthening its communication strategy and bringing in innovative technologies to track and monitor the disease-prone districts.
Tata Trusts, through Odisha Livelihood Mission (OLM), aims to reach out to 25000 households along with the Programme Management Unit (PMU), which will ensure the effective and timely implementation of the Malarial Control Programme.
The partnership will help in designing and implementing malaria elimination through early detection, prompt treatment, prevention, vector control, research, technologies and malarial sciences.
In addition to this, the alliance will work towards improving the quality of malariarelated management information systems.
The Tata Trusts-government collaboration plans to focus on 557 villages in 5 selected blocks including Bissamcuttack and Muniguda blocks of Rayagada district, Lanjigarh, Thuamulrampur blocks of Kalahandi district and Kotgarh block of Kandhamal district in southern Odisha.
This will also include the inaccessible villages from the list of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, Odisha.
Burzis Taraporevala, Chief Accountant and Secretary, Tata Trusts, said, “It is rather unfortunate that in southern Odisha, a large number of people are afflicted by this disease and are losing their lives due to a lack of access to proper health care. We are honoured to be given the opportunity to partner with the Government of Odisha towards fighting the rampant spread of malaria and eventually eliminating it from this state. Liaising with the government, the people and leveraging technology to create a better tomorrow, we hope, that one day, we will be a malaria-free nation.”
Health Minister Atanu Nayak said the govt is committed to keep malaria under control.