“India stands committed to eliminating Malaria and is committed to allocating infrastructure and financial resources to this task”, said J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, here today. The Health Minister launched the National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) 2016-2030, which outlines India’s strategy for elimination of the disease by 2030.
Speaking on the occasion he said, “This framework has been developed with a vision to eliminate malaria from the country and contribute to improved health and quality of life and alleviation of poverty”. The Minister stated that the NFME document clearly defines goals, objectives, strategies, targets and timelines and will serve as a roadmap for advocating and planning malaria elimination in the country in a phased manner. Necessary guidance is expressed for rolling out the strategies and related interventions in each State/UT as per respective epidemiological situation.
Terming the launch of the national framework for elimination of Malaria by 2030 as historic in view of the public health challenge posed by mosquito-borne illnesses, B P Sharma, Secretary (HFW) highlighted the importance of the segmented approach in tackling the issue. Eliminating Malaria will result in cutting down on expenditure on diseases control programme, and will help in reducing out-of-pocket expenditure too, he noted. He also added that the India has sturdy health systems with trained manpower, and the learning from the Polio and Elimination of Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus will help in eliminating Malaria too. He said that while diagnostic kits and medicines are available everywhere, the delivery mechanism has to be streamlined for better outcomes.
Dr. NafsiahMboi, Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) Envoy stated that the launch of the document demonstrates renewed commitment and strategic thinking on India’s part, and is a significant effort for the malaria elimination efforts and goals of the region and globally also. She highlighted the importance of community mobilization and sustenance of momentum of efforts. The elimination will produce multiple benefits, she said, adding that it will help to build systems to fight other mosquito-borne illnesses also.
The importance of this effort for Asia Pacific region was echoed by Dr. PoonamKhetrapal Singh, Regional Director, SEARO, WHO. She emphasized that investment on malaria control and prevention activities will result in almost 20 times gains in reducing healthcare cost in addition to bringing down the burden of diseases.
Acknowledging India’s leadership in the region in the health sector, Dr. Mark Dybul, Executive Director, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM)congratulated India on its various successes in the health sector, and stated that India’s efforts in eliminating Malaria is key to the global efforts in this direction.