Malaria is showing a downward trend this year in Ahmedabad, with fewer numbers and fewer pockets of the city in the grip of the disease.
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s (AMC’s) Health Department has recorded 589 cases of common malaria from January to August this year, less than what it was for the same period in 2022 (743). This year, most of the cases were reported from the West Zone (117), South Zone (116) and East Zone (121).
The AMC has identified Sabarmati, Chandkehda and Vasna in the West Zone as high-risk wards for the disease while for the South Zone, it was Vatva and Lambha and Nikol, Gomtipur and Ramol in the East Zone.
Not just the numbers, even the Annual Parasite Indices (API) that show malaria infection per 1,000 people was low for the period. The APT for the period this year was 0.08 against 0.12 for the same period last year. The AMC this year (Jan-Aug) also collected Rs1.25 crore as fine from sites where mosquito breeding was found, most of which were construction and commercial sites. Last year the civic body collected Rs60,000 during the same period.
AMC believes improved awareness about anti-malaria drugs, community participation and the overall weather have helped control common Malaria cases this year.
As per the Government of India guidelines, chloroquine and primaquine (antimalarial drugs) are advised as medicines for 3 and 14 days respectively in case of common malaria. Chloroquine gives fast relief and kills the parasites and helps control fever within four days. However, it is important to continue a course of primaquine for 14 days to prevent a relapse of the disease, a medical officer said.
Speaking about malaria prevention he said often people seek thermal fogging but AMC insists on cold fogging which is more effective. “In cold fogging, the mist blows upward and stays there. Due to the mist, the insecticide mixed with water remains suspended in the air for 15 minutes before settling on the ground killing the mosquitoes. The Aedes Aegypti bionomics often rests underneath soft, dark places, beds, corners etc.,” Sharma said.
AMC said it is important that water is not stored in open containers for over a week and underground and overhead tanks have airtight lids and are regularly cleaned. “The use of mosquito repellent cream, coil, racket and nets are also advisable,” it said.