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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 46-52

Preparedness for malaria elimination in the wake of climate change in the State of Uttarakhand (India)

1 ICMR-National Institute of Malaria Research, New Delhi, India
2 Field Site, Bhimtal, Nainital, India
3 District Malaria Office, Almora, India
4 State Programme Office, NVBDCP, Dehradun, Uttarkahand, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr Ramesh C Dhiman
ICMR–National Institute of Malaria Research, Sector 8, Dwarka, New Delhi-110 077
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.257774

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Background & objectives: Climate change is an emerging issue particularly in the context of vector-borne diseases. A study was undertaken in Nainital and Almora districts of Uttarakhand to provide evidences of changing climatic conditions, abundance of vectors, and knocking of malaria in hilly areas. Material and methods: Longitudinal data on temperature and relative humidity were procured from Tussar Silk Centre, Bhimtal, India as well as generated using HOBO device. Monthly density of malaria vectors, their positivity for sporozoite proteins of malaria parasite and fever surveys were conducted as per the standard procedures from 2010 to 2013. Epidemiological data were procured from the State Programme Officer of Uttarakhand state. Results: It was found that the temperature has increased since 1990 resulting in extension in windows of malaria transmission, temporal distribution as well as man hour density of Anopheles culicifacies and An. fluviatilis in hilly districts of Uttarakhand state. Both the vectors were found in high density up to a maximum man hour density of 110 (An. culicifacies) and 69 (An. fluviatilis) as compared to 32 and 33, respectively during 1998. The field collected vector species were also found positive for sporozoite proteins of malaria parasites in the month of October and November. Evidence of occurrence of malaria cases was also found in areas hitherto free from malaria. Interpretation & conclusion: The findings reveal that Himalayan region needs attention to strengthen surveillance for malaria to identify emerging new foci of malaria transmission in view of climate change. Health education to communities about preventive measures to contain breeding of vectors and seeking timely treatment should be imparted so as to achieve the goal of malaria elimination in category-1 in the first instance.

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