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Letters to the Editor

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  5 May 2018 12:00 AM GMT

Malaria Burden

This has the reference to the news “World Malaria Day Observed” (The Sentinel, April 28, 2018). According to a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO), India accounted for 6% of global malaria cases and 7% of deaths caused by it in 2016.

This is in the same ball-park as 2016, though the WHO figures also suggest that India is unlikely to reduce its case burden beyond 40% by 2020. In contrast, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan achieved malaria-free status in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

There were an estimated 4,45,000 deaths from malaria globally in 2016, compared with 4,46,000 estimated deaths in 2015. About 80% of the deaths were accounted for by 15 countries, namely India and 14 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Asia, India and Indonesia accounted for 60% and 30% of malaria deaths in 2016. In India a majority of malaria cases occurred in its bordering district, forests and tribal areas. India and Nigeria, two major contributors to the global burden of malaria, were able to detect only 8% and 16% of cases respectively via the system.

The WHO says that Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Indonesia are among the countries poised to reduce malaria incidence by over 40% by 2020. India – due to low funding per person at risk and resistance to certain frontline insecticides – is only expected to achieve a 20%-40% reduction.

In 2016, an estimated Rs 13,000 crore was invested in malaria control and elimination efforts globally by governments of malaria endemic countries and their international partners. The majority (74%) of investments in 2016 was spent in the WHO’s Africa region, followed by the WHO regions of Southeast Asia (7%), the Eastern Mediterranean and the Americas (each 6%) and the Western Pacific (4%). India has reduced its new malaria cases by one third, and even crossed the malaria mortality targets of 2020. It may also to be added that with nearly three-fourths of the share of the regional burden, India’s successes had significantly contributed to the reduction of the burden of malaria for the entire Southeast Asia region.

Satish Kumar Sarma,

Kalyanpur, Biswanath Chariali.

Stop Politicizing Sports

The combined opposition comprising DMK and AIADMK in particular is struggling for political existence in Tamil Nadu after being crippled by infighting. The said parties in association with other opposition parties disrupted the functioning of both the houses of Parliament over the Cauvery river issue. Also, in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, TDP, an ally of NDA till a few weeks ago, decided to go alone after the Central government didn’t paid heed to its demand for special status to that State. As one can see, Andhra Pradesh is already a developed industrial State, but just to keep its existence intact and presence felt, TDP is raising the special status issue.

These parties are now mixing politics with sports as recently IPL matches scheduled to take place in Chennai were shifted to Pune. The relentless pressure mounted by these political parties compelled the government and BCCI to shift the matches from Chennai.

There is a very simple message to such high-headed leaders of political parties: please do not mix sports with politics.

Dr Ashim Chowdhury,

Ambari, Guwahati.

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