NEW DELHI: One out of three doctors feel that unhygienic living conditions are the major cause of malaria-related deaths in India.
The findings were released on the occasion of World Malaria Day today.
32 per cent, out of 1,300 doctors who participated in the poll said that increase in malarial deaths is because of unhygienic living conditions. The poll was conducted by Curofy, India's largest community of doctors.
Malaria is a vector borne disease which proliferates in unclean places with standing water. With open sewage system and non-existence of waste disposal in the country, spreading of diseases due to filth is unsurprising, the poll said.
"People have to take care of themselves also like keeping their surroundings clean. Self-prevention is the best way to beat malaria. Wearing long sleeved clothes, using mosquito nets and repellents in the peak seasons are small things that keep in check the spread of malaria," said Dr PK Jha, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine at Medanta.
23 per cent of the physicians said that the deaths are due to lack of healthcare in the remote areas.
In a country where there is only 1 doctor for 1700 people, very few of them practice in rural areas where it is actually needed. This has created a shortage of healthcare services in the remote areas, the poll said.
Indian population is also largely unaware of the spread of malaria and ways to tackle it. 26 per cent of the doctors also cited lack of awareness as the cause of the rise in deaths.
Dr Shailesh Sahay, Senior Consultant Internal Medicine, Max Gurgaon said, "Most of the people know that malaria is caused due to mosquitoes but they don't know how it spreads.
If the patients is living in an endemic area or has been to an endemic area and contracts fever he or she should contact the nearest physician within 24 hours. Late detection leads to complications which can affect the vital organs."
Only 18 per cent think that incomplete treatment which leads to drug resistance is the culprit behind the deaths.
Mudit Vijayvergiya, Co-founder Curofy said. "The results of the poll along with the statistics show that we need to work in a lot of areas, from spreading awareness to providing healthcare services in the deep dredges of our society, to make India malaria free."