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In the last 20 days, the intensive “active case surveillance” by 400 teams of auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) in Bareilly have detected patients suffering from a “killer” malaria strain and has generated reports of 3,500 cases of the deadly plasmodium falciparum (PF) malaria.
The cumulative figure of PF cases in Bareilly, between January 1 and September 9, stands at 4,207. In this period, 21,887 people have also tested positive for plasmodium vivax (PV) malaria strain.
Chief medical officer (CMO) Dr Vineet Shukla said that cases of PF malaria have increased in the past few days as they’ve been conducting massive active case surveillance, in which teams are holding camps in villages and testing fever patients. If any person tests positive for either PF or PV malaria, they immediately begin their treatment. He further said that their aim is to end the parasite by diagnosing all cases.
District malaria officer D R Singh told TOI that about 95% of total PF malaria cases were reported from Aonla sub-division, which includes Majhgavan, Bhamora, Ramnagar and Aonla health centres. In comparison to last year, the geographical area of PF cases has minimized. Majority of the cases are mostly confined to Aonla sub-division. For example, over 150 PF cases were reported from Meerganj in 2018, but this year, the number is just 23.
This year of the total 4,207 PF cases, the maximum has been detected in Majhgavan, with 1,727, followed by Bhamora with 1,662. However, PV cases have been dispersed across the district, the highest number of cases were diagnosed in Majhgavan and Bhamora.
Extra beds have been arranged at the district hospital, as malaria and fever cases are continuously increasing in Bareilly. Officials said that they have arranged few beds in the old building of district women’s hospital, which soon will be opened for malaria patients.
TOI had also reported earlier to keep a check on the spread of PF and PV malaria. Also, ASHA workers for the first time would make door-to-door visits of positive patients to ensure they complete the full course of treatment. The treatment duration for PF and PV malaria is three and 14 days respectively, ASHAs would visit houses of PF patients daily, while PV patients will be covered in the first, third, seventh and 14th day of treatment.
The health workers will get Rs 75 as incentive per case for finishing the full course of treatment, also known as “radical treatment”, and Rs 15 per case for conducting rapid diagnostic test on a fever patient. Officials clarified that when a patient consumes medicines, few of them stop treatment as soon as they feel better. Due to absence of radical treatment, malaria parasite can remain in the patient’s blood and be transmitted to others through mosquitoes.