Orissa launches programme to fight malaria

November 19th, 2009 - 12:29 am ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Nov 18 (IANS) Orissa Wednesday launched a special programme to fight malaria that kills around 250 people in the state every year, health department officials said.
The programme ‘Mo Masari’ (my mosquito net) was launched by state Health and Family Welfare Minister Prasanna Acharya in state capital Bhubaneswar.

Under the scheme long-lasting insecticidal bednets (LLIN) would be provided to pregnant women in state’s most malaria endemic districts of Kalahandi, Bolangir and Koraput (KBK), a senior official of the state health department told IANS.

“The LLIN to be provided for the first time in the state, would also be given by the government to students in tribal school hostels and general community in endemic areas,” he said.

Malaria has emerged as a major public health problem in Orissa. The state contributes 22 percent of malaria cases and 43 percent of total plasmodium falciparum (a parasite that causes the disease) cases in the country, official data shows.

Pregnant women and children under five years of age are particularly vulnerable to malaria.

“Each LLIN given to a pregnant woman would effectively protect her during pregnancy and will protect her and her newborn child for 3-4 years,” he said.

“Though the government has planned to distribute the medicated nets to all families in all state’s 30 districts, the distribution would start in the KBK districts on a priority basis in next few days,” he said.

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