India could see a resurgence of Malaria as health systems are busy containing Covid-19
- India witnesses an increase in Malaria cases every year during the monsoon in July.
- With most hospitals and medical staff busy containing COVID-19, it might be difficult for the country to diagnose and treat Malaria
- According to the World Health Organisation, India is among countries with the 5th highest burden of malaria in the world
As India fights the coronavirus pandemic, another health crisis might be lurking around which requires attention - Malaria.
India witnesses a surge in Malaria every year during the monsoons around the month of July. The local authorities step up their efforts ahead of it, with sanitation and awareness drives. However, this year, most health authorities are busy controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and experts believe that it might lead to a resurgence of Malaria.
“India has proved its dedication to end malaria, reflected through the diverse involvement in malaria programs of political, government leadership, community leaders, civil society. This has led to steady progress since 2000 and significant progress in the last two years. India has an opportunity to protect this progress. If these effective programs could start immediately – and safely – after the lockdown is lifted and before the onset of monsoon rains in early June, India’s progress against malaria can be maintained,” said Sanjeev Gaikwad, India country director of Malaria No More — an NGO which aims to end Malaria within a generation. It also supports India’s goal of Malaria elimination by 2030.
According to the World Health Organisation, India has the 5th highest burden of malaria in the world. It reported 430,000 cases of Malaria in 2018 alone. Experts fear an outbreak as most of its population resides in M alaria-endemic regions.