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Ahead on malaria: on reduction in cases in India

Odisha shows the way in bringing down the incidence of new cases
India has suffered(सामना करना पड़ा/हानि होना) from a major burden(बोझ /भार) of malaria for decades(दशकों), with high levels of morbidity(रोगों की संख्या) and death. But the declining(गिरावट) trend(प्रवृत्ति) of the scourge(विपत्ति/सज़ा देना) shows that sustained(निरंतर) public health action can achieve( प्राप्त) good results. The World Malaria Report 2018 of the World Health Organisation notes that India’s record offers great promise in the quest to cut the number of new cases and deaths globally by at least 40% by 2020, and to end the epidemic(संक्रमण/प्रकोप) by 2030. A lot of that optimism(अपेक्षा/आशावाद) has to do with the progress made by Odisha, one of the most endemic(स्थानिक) States. Investments made there in recruiting(भर्ती) accredited(अधिकृत/स्वीकृत) social health workers and large-scale distribution(वितरण/विस्तार) of insecticide-treated(कीटनाशक-इलाज) bednets, together with strategies(रणनीतियों ) to encourage(प्रोत्साहित करना) health-seeking behaviour, seem to have paid off. The WHO report highlights a sharp(तेज) drop(गिरावट) in the number of cases in the State. Thereduction(कमी/छूट) in cases by half in 2017 compared(तुलना) to the same study period in 2016 appears to reinforce(सुदृढ़/शक्ति) research findings: malaria cases in Odisha have been coming down steadily since 2003, with a marked reduction since 2008, attributed(जिम्मेदार ठहराया/आरोपित करना) to greater political and administrative commitment(प्रतिबद्धता/वायदा). This positive trend should encourage authorities not just in Odisha, but in the northeastern States and else(अन्यथा/साथ ही ) where too to cut the transmission of the disease(रोग/बीमारी) further. Importantly, the reduction in the number of cases should not produce complacency(शालीनता/प्रसन्नता) and lead to a reduction in deployment of health workers and funding cuts to programme components(घटक. Where allocations have been reduced, they should be reversed. It should be pointed out that even in 2017, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry put the number of malaria cases in Odisha at 3,52,140.

One issue that requires monitoring in India is resistance(बाधा/विरोध) to combination(मेल/संयोजन) therapy using artemisinin. Recent reports indicate(संकेत करना) that some patients in West Bengal became resistant to the treatment protocol used for the falciparum parasite, which causes(कारण/वजह) debilitating(दुर्बल/कमजोरी) cerebral malaria and leads to a high number of deaths. The phenomenon(घटना) requires close monitoring — although the WHO said in a recent assessment(मूल्यांकन) that the treatment policy was changed to another efficacious(प्रभावशाली) set of combination drugs in some northeastern States, after statistically significant treatment failure rates were found in 2012. Eliminating(खत्म करना) malaria requires anintegrated(संघटित/संपूर्ण) approach(दृष्टिकोण), and this should involve Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal, which have a higher burden of the disease. Odisha’s experience with using public health education as a tool and reaching out to remote populations with advice needs to be replicated. Given that emerging resistance to treatment has been reported in Myanmar, among other countries in this belt, there is a need for a coordinated(समन्वित) approach to rid southern Asia of malaria.

Important Vocabulary

1.Burden(बोझ /भार) 
Synonyms: anxiety, concern, difficulty, duty, hardship
Antonyms: advantage, aid, assistance, benefit, blessing

2.Scourge(विपत्ति/सज़ा देना)
Synonyms: curse, pest, terror, affliction, bane
Antonyms: reward, advantage, benefit, blessing, boon

3.Endemic(स्थानिक)
Synonyms: local, regional

4.Epidemic(संक्रमण/प्रकोप)
Synonyms: contagious, endemic, infectious, catching, general
Antonyms: imited

5.Distribution(वितरण/विस्तार) 
Synonyms: circulation, delivery, disposal, dissemination, handling
Antonyms: hold, keeping, retention, juncture, unity

6.Attributed(जिम्मेदार ठहराया/आरोपित करना)
Synonyms: apply, associate, blame, connect, credit
Antonyms: disconnect

7.Disease(रोग/बीमारी)
Synonyms: Cancer, bug, condition, contamination, defect, disorder
Antonyms: advantage, good health, health, ability, blessing

8.Complacency(शालीनता/प्रसन्नता) 
Synonyms: satisfaction, smugness, sense of security

9.Resistance(बाधा/विरोध)
Synonyms: battle, defiance, fight, intransigence, protection
Antonyms: aid, assistance, help, liberation, peace

10.Debilitating(दुर्बल/कमजोरी)
Synonyms: attenuate, cripple, disable, eviscerate, blunt
Antonyms: aid, assist, enable, help, strengthen

11. Assessment(मूल्यांकन)
Synonyms: appraisal, estimate, judgment, computation, determination

12.Integrated(संघटित/संपूर्ण) 
Synonyms: unified, combined, interspersed, mingled, mixed

13.Coordinated(समन्वित) 
Synonyms: agree, harmonize, integrate, organize, regulate
Antonyms: disagree, disorganize, confuse, differ, disarrange

14.Efficacious(प्रभावशाली) 
Synonyms: effective, effectual, active, adequate, capable
Antonyms: impotent, incapable, unproductive, useless, weak

15.Phenomenon(घटना) 
Synonyms: anomaly, aspect, circumstance, episode, event
Antonyms: usualness, normality, regularity

 

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