While the world is fighting the COVID-19, it is time we also see some achievements that we have come along. We have traveled a long way in medicine and medical science. Malaria which was once a leading cause of death around the world has very well been defeated in most of the countries. This World Malaria Day, let us be stronger to keep this medical issue away from affecting us anymore.
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We cannot deny that there is still a lot of cases in India of malaria reported every year. As per the reports of the economic times. India recorded 4.29 lakh malaria cases in 2019, although mortality numbers have plummeted. This resulted in the loss of productivity from malaria which is estimated to cost the Indian economy $3 billion every year.
There are many things that are done by India, to record it under World Malaria Day. It helps to make situations better for the country. Compared to other countries around the world, India still is in a better position. There has been a high toll of deaths in African countries. The reports have mentioned, that in African nations, malaria elimination efforts have plateaued, possibly due to the reduced efficacy of drugs such as Artemisinin-based therapies and vector control tools such as long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets. India too must be vigilant, due to its proximity to the Southeast Asian region where there is a growing threat to resistance to drugs and insecticides.
What can be done to fight the disease on this World Malaria Day?
Building resilient and agile health systems is necessary to bolster strong systems with innovations that can improve their accuracy, usability, access, efficiency, and impact. Fortunately, most relevant stakeholders in the nation have acknowledged the need for a confluence of these two approaches. The efforts of entities such as government-run BIRAC, the Atal Innovation Missions, Start-Up India have helped accelerate the journey of innovations in many other sectors including health.
Along with this there have been private players who have really stepped up to help the country, Tata Trusts seeded India Health Fund is dedicated to aggregate and foster innovations to combat infectious diseases like Malaria, IHF has stepped up action to pool in resources from private and public sources to accelerate the development of tools and solutions pipeline in India.
The fight with Malaria and COVID-19 is similar. The first one holds the record of killing nearly half of humanity since ancient times. COVID-19, on the other hand, has taken humanity by surprise, quickly overwhelming our health systems with a deluge of patients. To avert such a recurrence, we need a farsighted approach for strengthening the health system coupled with an openness to promote and fund disruptive innovations for tackling both old and emerging infections. Hence, this World Malaria Day, let us find better ways to fight our enemies like these viruses!
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