Tue, 18 Oct 2011 11:25:13 GMT

Malaria deaths fall worldwide, but still high in India

Washington, Oct 18 (PTI) There has been over 20 per cent decline in the number of deaths from malaria worldwide in the past decade, but the mosquito-borne disease continued to haunt India with the country witnessing over 1,100 deaths in 2009 after a steady decline since 2006.

According to the ''World Malaria Report 2010'' by the World Health Organisation (WHO), malaria killed 1,133 people in 2009 in India which reported over 1.5 million cases that year.

Although the number of confirmed cases in the country has remained stable since 2007, the number of deaths has gone up in 2009 after a steady decline since 2006. In 2000, there were only 892 malaria deaths, which rose to 1,708 in 2006, it said.

However, the report showed that there has been a 23 per cent decline in the number of confirmed cases in India from 2000 to 2009.
While the country recorded a whopping 2,031,790 malaria cases in 2000, it declined to 1,563,344 cases in 2009.

Around the world, the WHO report said, there has been over 20 per cent decline in the number of deaths from the parasitic disease which is present in 90 countries and infects one in 10 people, mainly living in Africa, India, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Colombia and the Solomon Islands.

The disease killed 781,000 people in 2009 worldwide out of 225 million cases, compared to 233 million cases and 985,000 deaths in 2000.

The mosquito-borne disease, according to the report, is most prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, where 85 per cent of deaths occurred, most of them children under five.

While progress in reducing the malaria burden has been remarkable, there was evidence of an increase in malaria cases in 3 countries in 2009 (Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, and Zambia). The reasons for the resurgences are not known with certainty, the report said.

"The increases in malaria cases highlight the fragility of malaria control and the need to maintain control programmes even if numbers of cases have been reduced substantially," it said. (More) PTI SKP AKJ

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