Nepalese Government Launches ‘Ambitious’ Plan To End Malaria, IRIN Reports
“The Nepalese government has launched an ambitious plan to curb the spread of malaria in high-risk parts of the country, where some 3,000 people were infected last year,” IRIN reports. Through the program, which began on May 1 and “is the first nationwide push to end malaria,” the “health ministry will distribute [anti-malarial] drugs at their local offices, and through their representatives in rural areas,” IRIN writes. The news service notes, “Nepal is still considered one of the most malaria-prone countries in Asia, even though the ministry is using a 1994 study, which showed that 20 million of the country’s 30 million people were at risk.”
“‘This program aims to end malaria in Nepal and bring about significant change in how we battle the disease,’ Nepal’s Minister of Health and Population, Rajendra Mahato, told IRIN,” according to the news service. “Nepal has run anti-malaria campaigns in the past, but Mahato said the latest effort was different, given the scope of the initiative and its goal of eradication,” IRIN adds. “The new program is a great chance for Nepal to reduce malaria, … and if we can be proactive on this front, Nepal can be a malaria-free country in just a few years,” G. D. Thakur, director of the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) of the Department of Health Services, said, according to IRIN (5/10).