Twenty-one people have been diagnosed with malaria, a mosquito-borne infectious disease caused by Plasmodium parasite, in Nawalparasi, the District Public Health Office (DPHO) said.
Of them, 18 patients from East Nawalparasi and three from the western part of the district were found to have contracted the disease. According to the DPHO, 10 more cases of malaria were diagnosed in the first nine months of the current fiscal year compared to the same period last year. A majority of the people in the district sleeping outside their homes to escape the summer heat is one of the major reasons for the rise in malaria patients.
Ratanpur in East Nawal-parasi has seen the highest number of patients with seven people diagnosed with malaria, followed by Paklihawa, where three people have been detected with the disease, said DPHO Chief Arun Kumar Mahato. Ratanpur is a hill settlement while Paklihawa lies in the plains.
According to Mahato, the cases were detected during a campaign launched by the DPHO against the disease. Though the DPHO has been conducting free screening for malaria, locals in the district rarely visit health centres unless patients show severe symptoms.
“We conduct proper diagnosis of malaria and provide free treatment but people rarely come to health posts unless it’s a severe case,” said Mahato. “On top of that, the open border with India has made it difficult to curb spread of the disease.”
On the occasion of World Malaria Day, which is observed on April 25 each year, the Nawalparasi DPHO has come up with a campaign with an aim to eradicate the disease within eight years.
Malaria is a life-threatening disease often detected in a tropical climate. A patient suffering from malaria complains of fever, fatigue, nausea and headache.
In its recent report, the World Health Organisation said the number of malaria patients has been halved in Southeast Asia since 2010.