Communicable and Non-communicable diseases – HIV, Malaria, Cancer, Mental Health, etc.

India unlikely to cut malaria by half in 2020: WHO


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: WHO, Malaria

Mains level: Eradication of malaria and other diseases


India unlikely to reduce its malaria case burden

  1. India accounted for 6% of global malaria cases and 7% of deaths caused by it in 2016, according to a report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO)
  2. This is in the same ballpark as last year
  3. The WHO figures also suggest that India is unlikely to reduce its case burden beyond 40% by 2020

Performance vis-a-vis other countries

  1. Maldives, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan achieved malaria-free status in 2015 and 2016 respectively
  2. Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Indonesia, says the WHO, are among the countries poised to reduce malaria incidence by over 40% by 2020
  3. About 80% of the deaths from malaria across the globe were accounted for by 15 countries, namely, India and 14 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa

Key impediments in elimination

  1. A key impediment to eliminating malaria is a weak surveillance system
  2. India and Nigeria, two major contributors to the global burden of malaria, were able to detect only 8% and 16% of cases, respectively, via the system


  1. 51% of Plasmodium vivax cases — the milder cousin of the p. falciparum — were traced in India
  2. This could be partially explained by resistance to chloroquine, the first line treatment to p. vivax infections
  3. For a long time, p falciparum dominated India’s case burden



  1. Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease affecting humans and other animals caused by parasitic protozoans (a group of single-celled microorganisms) belonging to the Plasmodium type
  2. The disease is most commonly transmitted by an infected female Anopheles mosquito
  3. Five species of Plasmodium can infect and be spread by humans
  4. Most deaths are caused by P. falciparum because P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae generally cause a milder form of malaria
  5. The disease is widespread in the tropical and subtropical regions that exist in a broad band around the equator
  6. The Malaria Policy Advisory Committee (MPAC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) was formed in 2012 to provide strategic advice and technical input to WHO on all aspects of malaria control and elimination
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