MERA INDIA PROGRAMME TO ELIMINATE MALARIA
What’s in news?
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on April 25, 2019 launched the ‘Malaria Elimination Research Alliance (MERA) India’, a gathering of partners working together to plan and scale up research to eliminate Malaria from India by 2030.
- Called Malaria Elimination Research Alliance India (MERA India), the programme took off on April 24, with the first meeting of the stakeholders
- MERA India alliance holds utmost importance to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for the operational research. The World Health Organisation (WHO) had earlier appreciated India’s research in malaria and hence, the country now aims to ensure its elimination by 2030.
- The alliance was launched on the occasion of the World Malaria Day 2019.
- Regional Advisor at the World Health Organization (WHO)’s South East Asia Regional Office, Neena Valecha, said the regional office would provide all assistance to ensure regional cooperation for the programme considering that diseases know no national boundaries and it was essential that all the countries in the region worked in unison.
Objective of the programme:
- The principal motive of the ‘MERA India’ alliance is to prioritize, plan, conduct, and scale up research in a coordinated way to have a solid impact on the population who are at risk of malaria.
- India has made impressive progress in malaria control in the recent years. The malaria burden in India declined by over 80 percent from 2.03 million cases in 2000 to 0.39 million in 2018. Deaths by malaria also declined by over 90 percent from 932 deaths in 2000 to 85 in 2018.
India & Malaria control:
- Over the past two decades, India has made good progress in malaria control. The disease burden has declined by 59 per cent (2.03 million cases in 2000 to 0.84 million in 2017) and deaths due to the disease by 89 per cent (932 in 2000 to 103 in 2017). The success has led to the government to make a commitment to eliminate malaria by 2030.
Various efforts by government:
- Over the past two decades, India has made impressive progress in malaria control. The malaria burden has declined by over 80 per cent, 2.03 million cases in 2000 to 0.39 million in 2018, and malaria deaths by over 90 per cent, 932 deaths in 2000 to 85 in 2018.
- This success has provided a strong foundation for the commitment from the leadership of the government of India to eliminate malaria from India by 2030.
- National Vector Borne Diseases Control Program (NVBDCP) of India has developed a comprehensive framework to achieve the overarching vision of “Malaria free India by 2030”.
- NVBDCP’s National Strategic Plan clearly recognises the critical role of research to support and guide malaria elimination efforts.