India has made real progress in fighting malaria, but it still remains a major problem. Here is how malaria affected India in 2012:
- 89% of the population of India was living in an at-risk area where the malaria parasite was present.
- It is estimated that 19,000,000 people caught the disease, and 28,000 died, just from a simple mosquito bite.
- Malaria also cost the economy of India approximately 212 Billion Rupees in lost productivity and treatment costs.
Drug resistance in India
Resistance to malaria drugs is also a threat to India. Drug resistance can happen for a few reasons:
- People do not finish their malaria treatments. While they may feel better, they will still carry the malaria parasite, which is now more resistant to malaria drugs.
- People with other diseases take malaria drugs, because they think they have malaria. This can lead to the body developing resistance to the drugs. Make sure to get tested before you seek treatment!
- If someone contracts a drug-resistant form of malaria, treatments will be less effective, and that person could continue to carry the parasite. Mosquitoes can bite the carrier and spread the drug-resistant malaria to the people around them.
If drug-resistant malaria spreads throughout the country, it could cause a major outbreak of the disease - which would lead to an increase in malaria deaths. But you can help fight drug resistance.
How you can help
You can help protect your family, and your country, from malaria and drug resistance by taking a few simple steps:
- Make sure your whole family sleeps under a bed net every night.
- Seek testing, and then treatment, from a doctor or health worker at the first sign of illness.
- If you are given treatment, make sure to finish your pills!
To learn more about malaria in your county, visit the India Malaria Program.