Panaji: The directorate of health services (DHS) has identified five high-risk areas for malaria disease in the state.
The identified areas include Candolim, Siolim, Chimbel, Margao and Panaji. Malaria transmission is slightly high in these areas compared to the other parts of the state; however, it is well under control.
In 2018 progressive up to May, the state had recorded 794 cases of malaria which included 90 indigenous cases. This year up to May, there has been a significant decline in malaria cases; the cases detected are 434 which include only 25 indigenous cases.
The national vector-borne disease control programme (NVBDCP), a unit of the DHS, has worked out a strategy including the micro-action plan during this monsoon to control and prevent the possibility of a malaria outbreak.
“Health officers have been designated at all the health centres across the state and have been assigned different responsibilities to ensure early detection of the disease, complete treatment, strengthening of surveillance and implementing anti-larvae measures,” said NVBDCP officer of DHS Dr Anant Palekar.
He said that the core issue related to malaria remains, as there is a high influx of migrant population, especially at the construction sites wherein there is a continuous flow of labourers from the high endemic states bringing the parasitic load in the state. He said that the rate of malaria cases in Goa is low when compared with other states and malaria is in the elimination phase. However, eliminating malaria is an uphill task, as it is difficult to control this disease amongst the migrant labourers.
Dr Palekar said that regular fogging will be done and source reduction drives will be undertaken by the department in the high-risk areas. He said that the labourers are being identified and screened by way of surveillance, which is undertaken by the designated health workers of the respective health centres.
Dr Palekar said that inter-sectoral collaboration and behaviour change communication are being undertaken by the DHS adding that the department has roped in the education department to spread awareness amongst school students.
He said that doctors under the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) and Anganwadi workers have also been roped in for the control and prevention of the disease by creating awareness across the state including the remote areas.