Bhubaneswar: Odisha is emerging as the best performing state in its fight against malaria with a drop in deaths to single digits, according to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report. The WHO World Malaria Report 2018 stated that Odisha is making commendable efforts to fight malaria through innovations such as improving healthcare worker skills, expanding access to diagnostics and treatment and strengthening data collection.
The report described India as the top country marking maximum progress in reducing malaria cases among the 11 highest burden countries. India registered a 24 per cent decline in malaria cases in 2017 compared to 2016.
The report suggested that malaria cases declined in India from 3,23,800 in 2017 (January-September) to 55,365 in 2018 for the same duration, along with a drop in deaths to single digits in Odisha. However, the report revealed that 1.25 billion Indians still remain at the risk of getting diagnosed with malaria.
According to the WHO, approximately 70 per cent of the world’s malaria burden is concentrated in 11 countries — 10 in sub-Saharan Africa (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania) and India.