Dhaka, Bangladesh
Death risk from malaria decreases in CHT

Death risk from malaria decreases in CHT

Our Correspondent RANGAMATI, Jan 13: With the motto "No more death from malaria", the districts of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), including Rangamati, are moving forward. Malaria is more prevalent in CHT than other parts of the country. Meanwhile, the authorities concerned are working relentlessly to curb malaria attacks and death from malaria in the region and have become successful in this connection. During the first decade of the 21st century, the CHT region was torn with malaria attack, leaving many people infected with and many others dead from the disease. During the last five years of that decade, more than 90 per cent of the patients infected with malaria across the country were in CHT. In 2007, a programme was taken to check malaria attack in CHT, and since then the attack has been reduced. Among the three hill districts, the highest percentage of malaria control has been ensured in Rangamati. The success story of the district has come to fore through the review of the disease's statistical aspects in last five years. At that time, only three people died of malaria here. According to the Health Department and BRAC, more than 60 per cent malaria patients live in remote areas of the district. The two organisations jointly took special programmes to check malaria attack here and have become successful in this connection. Health Department statistics showed that there were 17,166 malaria patients in 2014, 1,38,333 in 2015, and 9,624 in 2016, while 1,692 were affected till July of 2018. At the same time, the attack of severe malaria also decreased. A total of 1,063 people in 2014, 1,023 in 2015, 670 in 2016, 130 in 2017 and only 12 till July 1, 2018 were affected with severe malaria. Regarding the success in preventing malaria in Rangamati, Dr Sneha Kumar Chakma, a former civil surgeon (CS), said it was a collective effort which has reduced the malaria attack in the district. Another former CS Dr. Supriya Barua described this success as a huge achievement for the Health Department. CS Dr Shahid Talukder said, "We are running different programmes in Upazila Health Complexes and other hospitals to check malaria in the district. We are providing all therapeutic medicines free of cost to the patients." BRAC's District Health Officer Dr Keti Chakma said, "Following the Health Department's guidance, we are conducting our programmes side by side with the government. As per the programmes, we detect malaria patients and send them to nearest health centres as early as possible. Besides, we have own labs in union level to diagnose malaria. With the help of the Health Department, we distributed several lakh mosquito-repellent nets free of cost to the people of the district."

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