Nagaland Making Strides In Malaria Eradication; Three Districts Gearing Up For Pre-elimination Status - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland making strides in malaria eradication; three districts gearing up for pre-elimination status

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By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Apr 25, 2024 8:51 pm
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Dr E Motsuthung Patton and others at the Conference Hall of the Nagaland Civil Secretariat, Kohima on Thursday. (EM Images)

KOHIMA — The districts of Longleng, Mokokchung, and Zunheboto have achieved significant milestones in the fight against malaria. Having reported zero cases for the past three years, these districts are now gearing up to achieve pre-elimination status, Principal Director and Mission Director for National Health Mission (NHM), Dr. E Motsuthung Patton said on Thursday.

Speaking at a World Malaria Day event in Kohima, Dr. Patton said that despite the challenges, Nagaland has demonstrated resilience and innovation in its efforts to control and eventually eliminate malaria by 2030.

Advancements like highly sensitive rapid diagnostic tests, widespread distribution of life saving antimalarial medications, and implementation of innovative prevention and control strategies have played a crucial role in early detection and outbreak prevention in the community, he said.

Emphasising the need for a comprehensive approach to combat malaria, the official said that addressing medical needs alone is insufficient to truly eradicate the disease.

“To truly overcome malaria, we must address not only its medical aspect but also the underlying social, economic and environmental determinants that perpetuate its transmission,” he asserted.

Dr. Patton urged the people of the state to strengthen their commitment with more innovative community-centric approaches, investment in robust healthcare infrastructure and implement strategies that reach the most vulnerable. Continuous education, clean environments, and support for frontline healthcare workers are also crucial in this fight, he added.

Acknowledging that India has made significant progress in malaria control, he said that the country has drastically reduced morbidity and mortality rates. However, he stressed that the disease still disproportionately affects vulnerable groups like pregnant women, children, and internally displaced people, and indigenous people.

Malaria continues to directly endanger health and cost lives, but it also perpetuates the vicious cycle of inequity, he said, emphasising that ensuring access to prevention, detection, and treatment services for these groups is vital to achieve a malaria-free world.

The programme was led by Dr. Akuo Sorhie. Director (Health) and vote of thanks was proposed by Dr. R Chubala Aier, Additional Director and State Programme Officer (SPO) National Center for Vector Borne Diseases Control (NCVBDC).

The event also recognised the efforts of healthcare workers, with awards presented to outstanding surveillance workers, Mhalerovi and Deizenuo, and ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) Kikrusi and Temsujungla, in the Kohima district.

Meanwhile, the department informed that Nagaland is one of the best-performing states in the northeastern region, and the state was invited to share its best practices at a national-level program organised by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration with the World Health Organisation.

Deputy Director of NCVBDC, Dr. Tinurenla Anichari, is representing Nagaland state at the programme.

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By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Apr 25, 2024 8:51:05 pm
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