VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh has won a national-level award for best performance in malaria elimination by reducing the annual parasite index (API) under one in all its districts. The API is less than one case per 1,000 population. State health department joint director NCD Rami Reddy received the award on behalf of the State from Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in New Delhi on Monday.
For the last three years, the government has strived to make the State malaria-free and succeeded in bringing down its cases from 6,040 in 2018 to 1,139 in 2021. A total of 75,29,994 samples were tested for the disease in 2021. Only 117 cases of malaria have emerged so far across the State this year, a senior health official said.
Health officials said several measures were taken to reduce malaria cases and a total of 21.50 lakh mosquito nets were distributed in areas identified as high-risk zones. In total, 25.94 lakh nets were distributed across the state in 2021. Also, indoor residual spraying (IRS) was done in the high risk zones.
Last year, the IRS was done in 3,027 villages with 9.22 lakh population and district-level officers were appointed to monitor the progress. Mosquito nets were also provided to all health centres, schools and hostels.
Under the name ‘Friday-Dry Day’, a mobile application was developed and all village and ward secretariats were asked to educate citizens about weekly cleaning of water storage containers. Panchayat raj, municipal administration and RWS departments also coordinated in the programme. With the help of fisheries department, 24 lakh Gambusia fish were supplied to aqua farmers.