Bangladesh has witnessed a 70% reduction in the number of malaria patients in the past five years, claimed Health Minister Mohammed Nasim yesterday.
In 2008, the number of malaria patients was 83,000 but it now has come down to 26,000. The number of malaria-related deaths dropped by 90% from 194 to a mere 15 during the same period.
Nasim was addressing a press briefing at the secretariat. It was arranged ahead of the World Health Day 2014 scheduled to be observed on April 7 with the theme ‘vector-borne diseases’.
It was said at the briefing that early detection, proper treatment and use of specialised mosquito nets had resulted in this success. Bangladesh would be a malaria-free country by 2020 if the trend continued.
In the written speech at the conference, it was said that key mosquito-borne diseases in Bangladesh include malaria, visceral leishmaniasis (kala-azar), dengue and filariasis, chikungunya, and Japanese encephalitis.
Malaria still prevails in 13 districts across the country, with most cases recorded in CHT districts.
It was said at the briefing that Bangladesh had reduced the number of kala-azar patients by 90%, whie the number of filariasis-affected districts had fallen to 15 from 19, and that denguewas now almost under control because of increased awareness.