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MUMBAI: Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to human beings by female anopheles. From the beginning of the 21st century, India has demonstrated significant achievements in malaria control with a progressive decline in total cases and deaths. Overall, malaria cases have consistently declined from 2 million in 2001 to 0.88 million in 2013, although an increase to 1.13 million cases occurred in 2014 due to focal outbreaks. The incidence of malaria in the country therefore was 0.08% in a population of nearly 1.25 billion. In 2015, 1.13 million cases (provisional) were also reported.

It is worthwhile to note that confirmed deaths due to malaria have also declined from 1005 in 2001 to 562 in 2014. In 2015, the reported number of deaths has further declined to 287 (provisional). Overall, in the last 10 years, total malaria cases declined by 42%, from 1.92 million in 2004 to 1.1 million in 2014, combined with a 40.8% decline in malaria related deaths from 949 to 562 (National Framework for Malaria Elimination, n.d.).

Malaria thrives in dirty environment, thus cleaning the surroundings is very important to get rid of the disease. People working in health sector have urged to keep the environment clean, especially by draining stagnant water to put malaria, at bay.

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare have made a framework to eliminate malaria nationally by the year 2030. Contributing to malaria prevention work of the Government, Jubilant Bhartia Foundation undertook the following activities as a part of the Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.

  • Construction and renovation of toilets in its project schools (Government Primary Schools)
  • Development of a kit comprising of badges and board game snake and ladders based on the theme of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’ for the project schools. A hand-book on do’s and don’ts has also been developed by the foundation for proper understanding of the concept with pictures.

Addressing the present scenario of sanitation, which has been the major cause of water borne diseases Poonam Bir Kasturi, Daily Dump (Winner of Social Entrepreneur of the Year India Award 2015) said,” Most people do not realise that dealing with waste in a way that nature deals with it helps keep our surroundings healthy. The ditch outside our homes is full of waste, in front of empty plots, in blind spots. If we could just throw differently we could see how much health we will invite. Organic compost re-generates soil in city and acts as a carbon sink. For the health of our future cities this is a practical and viable way forward.”

Jubilant under the same project has also developed ‘Eco Club’ in each project schools to promote good hygiene practices to combat water & air borne diseases (including Malaria) and a care towards environment.

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