sting operation

90% of malarial deaths happen in rural India

The economic burden of malaria in India is $1,940 million despite the government spending $51 million towards it in 2013.

Stagnant puddles, which are a breeding ground for mosquitoes, follow the rains every year causing an increase in the incidence of water-borne diseases. Malaria is the third most common of these diseases in India after diarrhoea and typhoid. In 2014, the number of malaria cases in the country rose to 10,70,513, up from 8,81,730 in 2013. 35 countries, India being one of them, contributes to 96% of the total malaria cases and 98% of the total malaria deaths in the world. India is also one of the three countries that accounts for 97% of the malaria cases in South East Asia.


Malaria in urban India

The maximum number of malaria cases in Indian cities are reported from Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Vadodara, Vishakapatnam, Vijayawada and Pune thanks to increasing urbanisation, industrialisation, and construction projects. According to the Annual Report of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare 2013-14, the Urban Malaria Scheme is currently being implemented in 131 towns of 19 States and Union Territories covering 130 million people but is it enough?

Controversy over Malaria data

A 2010 Lancet study stated that more than 2 lakh Indians die of malaria every year. This generated a lot of controversy as the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme had reported only 9,778 deaths due to malaria in the last decade. The same study also found that 90% of deaths occurred in rural areas, of which 86% occurred at home without any medical attention. According to the World Malaria Report 2014, 22% (275.5m) of India's population live in high transmission (> 1 case per 1,000 population) areas. In 2013, Maharashtra and Odisha reported the highest number of deaths due to malaria but the highest number of registered malaria cases were reported in Odisha (2 lakh) followed by Chhattisgarh (1 lakh) and Jharkhand (97,215) cases.


Climate change is expected to alter the spread of malaria in the country. A study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research says that the geographic range of malaria vectors will shift away from central regions toward southwestern and northern States by the 2050s. The duration of exposure is likely to widen in north and west India, and shorten in south India.

Link with canals and dams

Research shows that irrigation canals have increased malaria risks. Around 10.9 million people are at risk of malaria due to large dam sites and irrigation canals in India. The Thar desert in Rajasthan was hit by its first major malaria epidemic in 1990 recording 48 deaths. This was followed by a bigger disaster in 1994 with double the calamities when the Indira Gandhi Nahar Pariyojana was extended causing seepage and water-logging due to faulty design. Around 100 cases of malaria in Jaisalmer district were reported in May 2012.

After the implementation of the Mahi-Kadana project in India, the annual parasite index in just 15 years of its implementation increased from 0.01 to 37.9. In Meerut and Gurgaon, the incidence in canal-irrigated villages increased up to nine-fold.

Increasing Economic Burden

According to a study, the economic burden of malaria in India is $1940 million with 75% of the burden coming from lost earnings while 24% comes from treatment costs. The Indian government spent $99.52 million in 2011 for the malaria control programme, which dropped to $51.33 million in 2013. It isn't surprising that prevention measures are far from desirable standards.

Mosquito nets treated with insecticide and indoor spraying are two globally-accepted measures to protect the high-risk population. In 2013, India provided this protection to less than 20% of the vulnerables leaving a huge segment uncovered.


Under the National Health Mission, Community Health Workers (ASHA) were provided with drug kits in which medicines related to malaria were also supplied. The Empowered Procurement Wing has procured anti-malarial drugs of Rs 146 crore but due to long government systemic processes, the drugs do not reach the community health workers on time especially in remote villages.

“In the last three years, the government malarial drug supply has not improved much. The availability of drugs to the community health workers needs to be regularized”, says Pooran Singh, Regional Coordinator Bastar division, State Health Resource Centre, Chhattisgarh.

Malarial eradication needs a fresh approach. The dependence on a large chunk of international funding alone is not a sustainable solution to control and eliminate malaria in India.

This article was originally published on India Water Portal.

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

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2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

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