World Malaria Report 2008 dramatically halved the global estimates of malaria
In fact most Malaria in Jharkhand goes unreported. How can Dhillon Saheb even guess the numbers?
We estimate that everybody in Sahebganj district gets malaria at least once a year (1 million cases)and 1% die (10,000). This estimate was raised in the state assembly. We have survey data in September-October to show that certain villages in Pakur district have even 10% infected (point prevalence).
Dhillon Saheb needs to speak to the older generation as well as those in the field.
THE WORLD Malaria Report 2008 released on Thursday dramatically halved the global estimates of malaria cases from 500 million in 2004 to 247 million in 2006. Almost all of the fall is attributable to updated surveillance data from Asia, particularly India, where the numbers fell from over 82 million in 2004 to 10.6 million in 2006.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), which brings out the report, attributes the revision to more accurate data collection methods. Much of the Asian data, used in the 2005 report to predict regions with malaria-carrying mosquitoes and greater disease was 40-yearold, says Mac Otten, coordinator of the surveillance, monitoring and evaluation unit at the WHO's Globa1 Malaria Programme. "With urbanisation, deforestation and then malaria control, the data is just out of date. Malaria zones in Asia, especially India, where much of therevision took place, have become patchy," Otten told mediapersons.
Health ministry officials in India say they're not surprised. "The WHO has always gone by esti- mates but we go by reported cases, which is 1.6 million malaria cases every year and about 1,000 deaths. I admit the cases may be more as some cases treated in the private sector may not be reported. Still, the discrepancy in numbers will not be as phenomenal as claimed," says G.E Dhillon, director, nationa1 vector-borne disease control programme.
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