Vijayawada to be free of Malaria by 2014
The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) has declared a war against malaria, one of the major communicable diseases affecting the mankind. With an aim to eradicate malaria completely from the city by 2014, the VMC has embarked on a mission, in association with Cinergy Company, a Mumbai-based nonprofit organisation.
For the effective implementation of the mission, the VMC has decided to seek the help of NGOs and citizens of the city. Vijayawada with a population of 11 lakh, has 111 slums. Many of the slums are on the banks of Bandar Canal, Eluru Canal and Ryves Canal and on hill slopes.
Due to poor sanitation in the slums, the incidence of malaria, dengue and other diseases is quite high in the city during rainy season. Malaria is caused by plasmodium parasite. It gets transmitted by the bite of infective female Anopheles mosquito. There are four plasmodium species - P vivax (Pv), P falciparum (Pf), P malariae (Pm) and P ovale (Po). In India, P vivax species is the commonest (60-70%), followed by P falciparum.
P malariae species is rarely found and P ovale is not found in our country.
P falciparum is a malignant variety of malaria as in 0.5 to 2 per cent of cases, its gets complicated if timely treatment is not given. In some cases, it may be fatal.
All malaria mortality cases in the country are due to Pf species only.
A single dose of chloroquine may save the life of the patient by averting severe complications. “Malaria is curable and preventable.
Yet we are suffering from the disease due to lack of proper awareness about malaria,” says Dr Lakshmi Kumari, additional medical officer of health (AMOH) of VMC. As part of its mission to eradicate malaria completely from the city, the VMC has adopted a four-pronged strategy. In the first phase, the VMC will take up a malaria awareness campaign, in association with Cinergy. Later, it will collect blood samples of people residing in the limits of all 22 Urban Health Centres in the city.
In the third phase, the blood samples will be tested at six medical sub-centres in the city. If the blood sample of anyone is tested positive, he will be given treatment by a special district medical officers team. Simultaneously, a team of biologists will take up fogging and anti-larval operations in slums and vulnerable areas to prevent the growth of mosquitoes.
Desiltation of canals and proper maintenance of hygiene in slums will also be taken up by the VMC as part of the mission. “We have a mission to make Vijayawada a malaria free city by 2014. The mission has already begun in January. After reviewing the results of the mission, another strategy will be adopted next year to eradicate malaria. We will involve NGOs and citizens in a big way in the war against malaria,” Lakshmi Kumari told.
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