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Malaria – A Silent Killer in Mayurbhanj

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By Janaki Ballav Dash: World Malaria Day was observed like another day with routine slogans and rally by few National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and ASHA workers unlike its counterpart diseases like AIDS, and TB. Lakhs of Rupees are found spent on such slogans, rallies on world AIDS & TB days but the same is not found with Malaria, which virtually rules the roost in the tribal region of Mayurbhanj district.

Malaria is a silent killer in this region and the government shows apathy for this disease, said Shantiranjan Behera, a developmental catalyst working since last four decades. In fact, it is Malaria, which needs to be considered as the most turbulent disease of this region instead of TB,AIDS.

Assessment proved that while Malaria is the most dreaded disease. However, it has been given least priority in Mayurbhanj in comparison to AIDS and TB. The AIDS programmes are sponsored by different stakeholder agencies. Malaria rules the roost in interiors of Similipal region where people mostly tribals often fall prey in its cruel hands. Meningitis- or cerebral malaria is the most predominant form of malaria here which takes the life of a person within hours once it affects. But this has not been raised by the politicians, who often demand for setting up of a medical college instead of demanding for modernised lab for poor tribal patients, who can undergo Malaria test at affordable prices.

The sadar hospital, which acts as a referral to SCB medical college and hospital at Cuttack, is also found having no advanced equipments for Malaria test. Similarly, the menace of Malaria is not being controlled by respective municipalities, NACs, which often show a staggering amount has been spent on this year. According to medical soruces, out of 382 Grampanchayats, Malaria has its unrivalled empires in around 187 Grampanchayats which are more dangerous than other menace. While everyone is busy solving other menace, malaria is taking life-one after another silently taking benefit of this situation in Mayurbhanj.

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