Kathmandu, April 24
Following a successful track record on malarial control in line with the Millennium Development Goal, the government has taken up an ambitiou s vision to make Nepal malaria free by 2026.
According to independent external evaluation of the National Malarial Control Programme, Nepal has already achieved MDG 2015 and Rollback Malaria goal. It has been advised to launch pre elimination programme from 2011.
For malaria elimination, the government is all set to launch Micro-stratification to update the stratification (comprehensive study) of malaria endemic areas and align activities outlined in the strategic plan accordingly in different strata by 2012, Dr. GD Thakur, director of the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division under the Department of Health Services, said.
Similarly, the government is set a target to achieve 90 per cent screening of all suspected malaria cases for parasite diagnosis and 100 per cent effective treatment of all confirmed malaria cases according to the national guidelines by 2016, Dr. Thakur said.
On the eve of World Malaria Day Tuesday, the government declared its plan to eliminate the mosquito communicated disease and further policy and programmes.
The World Malaria Day is being observing Wednesday (25 April) with the slogan of Sustain Gains, Save lives: Invest in Malaria globally.
According to a 1994 study, around 20 million people of 65 districts were at risk of catching malaria. Among them, 31 districts were found with malaria and 13 Terai border districts, namely, Jhapa, Kailali, Kanchanpur, Bardiya, Dhanusha, Morang, Kavre, Mahottari, Sindhuli, Dadeldhura, Ilam, Nawalparasi, and Banke, were malaria prone areas.
The government had conducted a National Malaria Control Strategy 2007/8 to 2011/012 with the aim to control the disease.
As the cases of malaria had declined notably after the government intensified its programme, the government changed its strategy and aimed to bring down the malaria transmission to zero by 2018 and eliminate malaria by 2026, according to the EDCD.
The government had set a target to halve the 7,981 malaria cases registered in the year 2000, by 2015. It is committed to reduce malaria deaths by 15 per cent from the figures of 2000.
According to EDCD, around 3,335 malaria cases were reported in 2009 while in 2010, the reported cases were 3,115.
"Malaria deaths in 2008 and 2009 were recorded at 7 to 8 people," said Tek Raj Pathak, programme officer of malarial control programme.
However, in the last two years (2010 and 2011), no malaria deaths were recorded, he said.