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Malaria Epidemic Sweeps Northeast India

Health officials declared on Tuesday in Guwahati that, at least 50 people have died from malaria in an epidemic sweeping northeast India and another 25,000 have fallen sick from the illness. //

Bhumidhar Barman, health minister of the Assam state government announced that since the beginning of April, almost around 50 people had died of cerebral malaria and two districts in the eastern part of the state Lakhmipur and Golaghat were the worst hit. He said that the doctors and paramedics have spread out to take preventive steps and cure those hit by the disease.

The northeast is a known malaria zone with the disease claiming an estimated 500 lives annually. He said that anti-malarial measures in Assam have been hit hard due to an acute shortage of paramedics and auxiliary nurses. He explained that their plan of recruiting 800 malaria surveillance workers by March was not met as the election model code of conduct came into effect causing problems initially. But he explained that have been able to check the spread of the disease, he explained that there are enough stocks of anti-malaria drugs and diagnostic kits. The minister said that the doctors and paramedics are working overtime in all the vulnerable areas, and the trend is gradually declining.


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