11 February 2016
NEW DELHI - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria praised India's leadership and vision for launching an ambitious national framework to eliminate malaria by 2030, and called the country's significant progress against the disease an example in global health.
With the support of many partners, India has seen a dramatic decline in malaria rates and malaria deaths. Through combined interventions that include rapid diagnostic tests, artemisinin-based combination therapy, long-lasting insecticidal nets and indoor residual spraying, India is projected to achieve a fall in case incidence of 50-75 percent between 2000 and 2015.
"India is showing others that with commitment, partnership and innovative strategies we can eliminate malaria," Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, said during the presentation of the National Framework for Malaria Elimination in India 2016-2030 and the Operational Guidelines for Malaria Elimination in India. "This framework is a hugely important step that gets us closer towards that goal."
J.P. Nadda, Minister of Health and Family Welfare of India, stressed his country's engagement to eliminate the disease.
"I can only assure you that the Government of India fully stands committed to the malaria elimination program, with the support of all stakeholders," said Nadda.
During a two-day meeting that brought together the Government of India, WHO, academics and the Indian and global public health sector, partners discussed strategies and implementation of the framework, innovation and research, health system strengthening, and shared experiences for malaria elimination.
Under the framework, India aims to eliminate malaria (zero indigenous cases) throughout the entire country by 2030, and maintain malaria-free status in areas where malaria transmission has been interrupted and prevent re-introduction of malaria. Elimination will be undertaken in a phased manner, with states with low incidence rates first, followed by the high-incidence ones.
The framework is in line with the Asia Pacific Leaders' Malaria Alliance Malaria Elimination Roadmap for 2030.
India's commitment to regional malaria elimination is timely. Emerging drug resistance in the Greater Mekong region is threatening the progress made toward elimination. Resistance to artemisinin - the most commonly used drug worldwide against malaria - has been detected in Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia.