Mangaluru, Feb 05, 2018: Private doctors and laboratories in Mangaluru were asked by Experts and officials from the Health Department here on Feb 3, Saturday, to strictly follow the 2014 guidelines of the National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR) for treatment and diagnosis of malaria.
Speaking at a programme organised by the Health and Family Welfare Department, regional director of National Centre for Disease Control, Bengaluru, K. Ravi Kumar, said drugs prescribed by the NIMR have been effective against Plasmodium Falciparum (PF) and Plasmodium Vivax (PV) streams of malaria. So far there has not been any instance of the PF and PV steams of malaria developing resistance to drugs prescribed by the NIMR.
Dr. Kumar said it was necessary for doctors to follow a uniform treatment protocol to eliminate malaria. There have been instances in Mangaluru where private doctors have prescribed drugs other than what has been laid down in the guidelines. Though these drugs might be effective, but such usage has risk of the malaria parasite developing resistance. “We need to preserve these drugs for use at a later date when there is resistance to the medicines prescribed now,” he said.
Dr. Kumar emphasised that laboratories should go for microscopic examination of blood smears, which he said was the gold standard for confirmation of malaria. The microscopic examination not only helps in detecting malaria parasite but also find the load of that parasite.
Joint Director (Malaria and Filaria) B.G. Prakash said the State government has formed a roadmap for removing malaria from the State by 2022. As a majority of malaria cases in the State come from Dakshina Kannada — and 90%t of which is from Manglauru city — the department is focusing on eliminating malaria from the city. “If we control malaria in Mangaluru, we will be on the doorstep of eliminating it,” he said.
Treatment for infected persons, vector control measures and online mode of reporting infection taken in the past two years have greatly helped in bringing down incidence of Malaria in the city. While 5,945 cases were reported in the city in 2016, the cases came down by around 20% in 2017. As malaria and dengue are notifiable diseases, it is mandatory for doctors and laboratories to follow the treatment and diagnostic guidelines prescribed by the government, he said.