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ICMR launches ‘MERA India’ to eliminate malaria by 2030

Topic covered:

Issues related to health.

 

ICMR launches ‘MERA India’ to eliminate malaria by 2030

 

What to study?

For prelims: MERA India- key features, targets and significance.

For mains: Malaysia- key facts, spread and measures needed to eliminate the disease.

 

Context: The Indian Council of Medical Research has launched the ‘Malaria Elimination Research Alliance (MERA) India’ – a conglomeration of partners working on malaria control – in order to prioritise, plan and scale up research to eliminate the disease from India by 2030.

 

Key facts:

  • The principal activity of the alliance is to prioritise, plan, conduct, scale up and translate relevant research in a coordinated and combinatorial way in order to have a tangible impact on the population who are at risk of malaria.
  • The alliance will facilitate trans-institutional coordination and collaboration around a shared research agenda which responds not only to programmatic challenges and addresses gaps in available tools, but also proactively contributes to targeted research.
  • It aims to harness and reinforce research in coordinated and combinatorial ways in order to achieve a tangible impact on malaria elimination.

 

Various efforts by government:

Over the past two decades, India has made impressive progress in malaria control. The malaria burden has declined by over 80 per cent, 2.03 million cases in 2000 to 0.39 million in 2018, and malaria deaths by over 90 per cent, 932 deaths in 2000 to 85 in 2018.

This success has provided a strong foundation for the commitment from the leadership of the government of India to eliminate malaria from India by 2030.

National Vector Borne Diseases Control Program (NVBDCP) of India has developed a comprehensive framework to achieve the overarching vision of “Malaria free India by 2030“.

NVBDCP’s National Strategic Plan clearly recognises the critical role of research to support and guide malaria elimination efforts.

 

About Malaria:

  1. caused by a Plasmodium Parasites that is transmitted from one human to another by the bite of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. 
  2. In humans, the parasites (called sporozoites) migrate to the liver where they mature and release another form, the merozoites.
  3. The majority of Malaria symptoms are caused by the massive release of merozoites into the bloodstream such as anaemia is caused by the destruction of the red blood cells.
  4. There are five parasites that can cause Malaria in humans and the deadliest of all is Plasmodium Falciparum
  5. Children under the age of 5 and pregnant women are most susceptible to the disease.

 

Sources: The Hindu.

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