The Voluntary Health Association of India observed ‘World Malaria Day’ on Tuesday in association with District Vector Borne Disease Control Programme with the theme of ‘End Malaria for Good’ in the districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Udalguri, Baksa.
A cycle rally was also carried out on the occasion along with holding awareness meeting among citizens in different places in the region. Signature campaigning road side drama & dance on Malaria, marathon (Run for peace & end Malaria for good),drawing competition and memory test competition on Malaria among students were also organised.
Malaria is still a key concern in the public health sector of India. India accounts for approximately two thirds of the confirmed cases reported in the South-East Asia region. Northeast India contributes around 10% to 12 % of the Malaria cases. This region shares 90% of its border with foreign countries. However considerable areas of this region are hilly, difficult and inaccessible. The region is a melting of different communities mostly belonging to tribal communities. And with this setting North East India has become a malaria endemic region. GFATM Round 9 Intensified Malaria Control Project (IMCP-III October’15 to September’17) is a powerful intervention to reduce the malaria cases and deaths in the Northeast region of India. The well-crafted public-private partnership (PPP) model has involved the NGOs of national repute having local presence as well in achieving the targets set under Millennium Development Goals or at least reduction in malaria related morbidity and mortality. In continuation of its support VHAI, a Registered National Organisation working in 1299 villages in the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Agartala.
In an attempt to overcome and bring an end to Malaria VHAI in its operational villages have a Community Volunteer posted in every village and to have a strong support and coordination, the organisation has its district office in Kokrajhar, Udalguri, Baksa, West Siang and the Districts of Tripura with its regional office at Guwahati. Many activities under Behaviour Change Communication like Miking, Community Consultation Message Dissemination (CCMD) which is a platform for conducting meeting with the local heads, community leaders, eminent members from the community and residents from the village to make the people aware about the causes, prevention, treatment of Malaria, Infotainment where dramas/skits are used as a medium of spreading awareness through entertainment, information is passed on to the community.
VHAI has also selected change agents during the local School Activities (LSA) conducted at the various schools. This activity adds to the support system and mass awareness generation contributing to behavioural change in the community.