Context: Malaria is all set to become a notifiable disease across India, with Bihar, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Meghalaya too in the process of putting this vector-borne disease in the category.
- Malaria is a potentially life-threatening disease caused by parasites (plasmodium vivax, plasmodium falciparum, plasmodium malariae and plasmodium ovale) that are transmitted through the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
- India was the only high-burden, high-impact country in the South-East Asia region to report a decline in malaria cases in 2020 as compared to 2019.
- India witnessed 85.1% decline in malaria cases and 83.36% decline in deaths during 2015-2022.
- India has the vision to be malaria-free by 2027 and to eliminate the disease by 2030.
- India has the availability of near-real-time data monitoring through an integrated health information platform (HIP-Malaria Portal) and periodic regional review meetings to keep a check on malaria growth across India.
What are notifiable diseases?
- A notifiable disease is any disease that is required by law to be reported to government authorities. The collation of information allows the authorities to monitor the disease, provides early warning of possible outbreaks, and formulate a plan for their elimination and control.
- Registered medical practitioners need to notify such diseases in a proper form within three days, or notify verbally via phone within 24 hours depending on the urgency of the situation. Every government hospital, private hospital, laboratory, and clinic will have to report cases of the disease to the local government authorities.
- The onus of notifying any disease and the implementation lies with the state government. Any failure to report a notifiable disease is a criminal offence and the state government can take necessary actions against defaulters.
- Notifiable diseases in India: Cholera, diphtheria, encephalitis, leprosy, meningitis, pertussis (whooping cough), plague, tuberculosis, AIDS, hepatitis, measles, yellow fever, malaria, dengue.