CHENNAI: Malaria cases in Tamil Nadu have come down because of various measures taken by the Directorate of Public Health, officials say. According to the Union Health Ministry data, in 2017, a total of 5,444 malaria cases were reported in Tamil Nadu. This came down to 3,762 in 2018. Meanwhile, according to the State health department figures, from January to till date, 303 malaria cases were reported. Of them, 176 cases were from Chennai district.
P Vadivelan, Additional Director of Malaria and Filaria, said, “This year till date, 303 cases were reported in the State. Among them, 176 cases were from Chennai district. In Ramanathapuram district, there were 22 cases and in Kanniyakumari district 26 cases were reported. In other districts, only sporadic cases reported so far.”
The officials claim that due to various measures, the cases have come down. “The malaria-causing Anopheles mosquitoes breed in clean water. So, we periodically spray insecticides in overhead tanks and pools. In 13 districts, including Ramanathapuram and Kanniyakumari, gambusia fish is left in the wells where mosquito breeding is more. This really helped to control the mosquitoes,” the official said.
“Apart from these, in 13 districts indoor residual spray is sprayed twice every year, in June and September. This insecticide effect lasts on the walls for at least four months. We are also conducting screening for malaria. We also give anti-malarial tablets for contacts of the infected person,” he said. Meanwhile, K Kolandaswamy, Director of Public Health, told Express, “We are hopeful of eradicating malaria by 2023. Chennai, coastal villages of Kanniyakumari, Thoothukudi and Rameswaram, some villages in Hogenakkal still have local transmission cases.”
About 176 cases were reported from Chennai till date this year, he said. “It is because of the population. Chennai is the largest city and also the population is more when compared to other districts, so the numbers. In fact, malaria cases are being reported only in some pockets of the city”.