JOINING TOGETHER TO END MALARIA IN INDIA

In 15 years, malaria cases in India dropped from 2 million to 1.1 million. Improving access to tests could bring that number closer to zero.

Joining Together to End Malaria in India

Oct 23 2018

Despite significant progress in the fight to reduce malaria in India, the country's men, women and children still struggle with the deadly mosquito-borne disease. But together, Abbott and its partner organizations are joining forces with local government to end malaria for good.

Help from home and abroad

Why the global collaboration? India accounts for 58 percent of malaria incidence in Southeast Asia, and it has the most cases of the disease than any country in the world outside of Africa.

Given that and India's geographical proximity to the artemisinin-resistant strains of malaria prevalent in Southeast Asia, it's clear that India plays a critical role in making Asia — and the world — malaria-free.

In a declaration at the East Asia Summit in Malaysia in 2015, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi set a goal of eliminating malaria in India by 2030. A year later, India launched its National Framework for Malaria Elimination.

But it will take more than a village — or a country, for that matter — to eliminate malaria in India.

Making malaria no more

Together, Abbott and Malaria No More are committed to supporting India’s aspiration to be malaria-free. In 2018, Abbott's partner, global nonprofit Malaria No More (MNM), signed an agreement with the Government of Odisha to provide technical capacity and support the strengthening of the government’s globally-acclaimed programme to further drive down malaria cases and deaths in Odisha. The goal is to promote and replicate this success model for other Indian states to follow.

Abbott is contributing to the partnership by helping to design community health worker training on the use of rapid diagnostic tests and the data collection from those tests. Abbott also is assisting with diagnostics product donations to the Odisha government and investing in Malaria No More’s work in the state.

Shifting the malaria mindset

Putting an end to malaria in India will take not only a long-term approach and more health spending, but also a shift in mindset from malaria control to malaria elimination.

Eliminating malaria in India will take more than the combined efforts of national and local leaders, too. It will also require the engagement of health care workers and malaria-affected populations. In addition, key prevention and treatment resources must be made available to test and treat all symptomatic and asymptomatic malaria cases.

To make all of that happen, we all need to work together. Innovative public-private partnerships such as the one Abbott is supporting in India together with Malaria No More go a long way in reducing the burden of this disease.

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