Published on: July 21, 2022


KARNATAKA WILL BE MALARIA FREE BY 2025 Why in news? Though the Centre has given a target of eradicating malaria by 2030, the Karnataka government has taken it as a challenge to make the State malaria free by 2025, said Health Minister K. Sudhakar.

In the earlier times:

  • There was no proper testing facilities for malaria earlier and in the 1980s and 1990s, we started testing whenever someone caught a fever.

Malaria cases in Karnataka

  • Malaria should not to be taken lightly. Only 100 malaria cases have been recorded in the past six months, but the monsoon season is a challenging period and we are seeing an uptick in the number of malaria cases in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi, as also in areas that have proximity to forests.
  • Generally, cases of malaria and dengue increase during the monsoon season and currently, there has been very heavy rain in 13 districts of Karnataka.
  • Due to the rain, waterlogging occurs in unused buckets, tyres, empty coconut shells etc. which is the breeding ground for mosquitoes which act as vectors to transmit these diseases.
  • A total of 1, 86,532 malaria cases were detected across the country in 2020. Karnataka accounted for only 1,701 cases, which is just 0.9% of cases in the country.

Measures to be taken:

  • Awareness programmes have to be created among communities in places that are seeing an uptick in malaria, and treatment alone is not enough, as precautionary measures need to be taken to ensure that the disease does not come back,
  • Need to be vigilant and not assume that there are no cases in districts like Kolar and Chikkaballapur just because no cases have been reported.

What is Malaria?

  • Malaria is a life-threatening mosquito borne blood disease caused by plasmodium parasites. It is predominantly found in the tropical and subtropical areas of Africa, South America as well as Asia.
  • The parasites spread through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
  • After entering the human body, parasites initially multiply within the liver cells and then attack the Red Blood Cells (RBCs) resulting in their rupture.
  • There are 5 parasite species that cause malaria in humans, and 2 of these species – Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax – pose the greatest threat.
  • Symptoms of malaria include fever and flu-like illness, including shaking chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness.
  • It is preventable as well as curable.