Raipur: The Malaria-free Bastar campaign—launched with an aim to make tribal Bastar division of Chhattisgarh malaria-free—has become a major success with a decrease of more than 65 per cent malaria cases in September this year as compared to September last year in Bastar division.
Over 4230 cases of malaria were found in seven districts of the division last September, whereas, a total of 1458 cases have been reported in September this year. Under the Malaria Free Bastar campaign, the first phase was conducted in January-February this year and the second phase in June-July. Under the first phase, 64,646 people were found to be infected with malaria after testing positive and were fully treated, from the 14, 06,000 people who were tested.
Within the second phase, the health department team examined 23, 75,000 people and provided immediate treatment to 30,076 people suffering from malaria amid the challenges faced by the spread of Covid-19. When compared with the cases of last year September with reference to this year's September, the impact of the malaria-free Bastar campaign affirmed the decrease of 75.2 per cent in Kanker district, 73.1 per cent in Kondagaon, 71.9 per cent in Sukma, 71.3 per cent in Bijapur, 57 per cent in Narayanpur, 54.7 per cent in Bastar and 54% in Dantewada. While there were 491 cases of malaria in Kanker district last September, only 122 cases have been reported this year. This year 79 cases have been reported, compared to 294 cases in Kondagaon in last September, 135 compared to 480 in Sukma, 377 compared to 1314 in Bijapur, 141 compared to 328 in Narayanpur, 269 compared to 594 in Bastar and 335 cases of malaria have been reported in Dantewada, compared to 729 cases of malaria last year.
On the special initiative and appeal by the Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, the Malaria Free Bastar Campaign has been extended as a mass campaign in the entire Bastar division. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, who visited Dantewada during the first phase of the campaign, administered the oath to the people to free Bastar in a public meeting. Health Minister T.S. Singhdeo has been meeting the senior departmental officers and collectors of all the districts of Bastar, monitoring the campaign continuously and giving it necessary guidelines to ensure 100 per cent success.
As part of the Malaria Free Bastar Campaign, the health department team at both the stages has ensured, conducting the malaria screening of every person in the inaccessible and remote areas of Bastar surrounded by dense forests and mountains. Immediate treatment was provided when they were found to be malaria positive. Health workers were feeding the first dose to those found to be malaria positive to ensure complete treatment. The follow-up dose intake of the victims was monitored by local Mitanins. Empty Blister Packs were also stored after the victims had taken full doses of the drug.