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Incidence of Malaria Has Come Down, Says Economic Survey

New Delhi: The incidence of malaria, one of the most common vector-borne diseases, has come down in India from 1.82 million cases in 2005 to 1.2 million cases in 2006, the Economic Survey has said. //

In its survey of the social sectors, the Economic Survey said malaria deaths came down from 963 to 961 people in the country in this period.

According to it, in some parts of the country the parasite has developed resistance to widely used anti-malaria drug chloroquine.

"The government has introduced a new drug combination of Aretemisinin plus Sulfadoxine-Pyremethamine for treating such resistant cases," said the survey.

Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) kits for quick detection of malaria cases are being made available to trained health workers and volunteers in remote,inaccessible areas.

Use of insecticide treated bed nets is being promoted for personal protection. Besides, the use of larvivorous fish in stagnant water collection is being encouraged for control of mosquito breeding.

In 2005, India had reported 1.82 million malaria cases of which 963 were fatal.

Expressing concern over the mosquito menace, the survey underlined that dengue, another mosquito-borne infection has, now spread to urban and semi-urban areas in the country.

"In recent years, dengue is increasingly being reported from semi-urban and rural areas due to expanding urbanisation and lifestyle changes," the survey remarks.

In 2006, dengue fever affected 10,891 people of which 171 succumbed to the disease. In 2005, while 157 lives were lost another 11,985 people were affected due to the fever.

Quoting the government's commitment to deal with filaria, another mosquito-transmitted disease, the survey said that the government aims eliminating the infectious Lymphatic Filaria disease by 2015.

In 2005, all 20 endemic states and union territories except Tamil Nadu implemented Mass Drug Administration covering around a population of 500 million.


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