Communicable diseases account for 30% of all diseases in India, and malaria is one of the biggest threats to India’s rural population. South Odisha is the single largest contributor to cases of malaria in India, accounting for nearly 40% of the total malaria cases in the country. The region is hilly, forested and surrounded by water bodies.

The Tata Trusts’ South Odisha Initiative aims to reduce deaths due to malaria by 100% and the incidence of the disease by at least 40% by 2021. The initiative focuses on parasite and vector control through routine surveillance screening, and provides residual sprays, mosquito nets, etc, to the vulnerable population. The Trusts’ interventions, in partnership with the Government of Odisha, and with the help of implementation partner, Livolink Foundation, cover 20,000 households in a cluster of 547 villages.

Key highlights of this initiative

  • Parasite control: This involves routine screening performed by trained door-to-door frontline workers, across select villages. Regular mass screening camps are also conducted, thus addressing the problem of poor access to testing.
  • Vector control: Vector control involves the removal of mosquito sites, door-to-door distribution of residual spray and mosquito nets, critical components of malaria prevention.
  • Technology integration: The Trusts provide frontline workers with portable microscopes to test for suspected cases of malaria.
  • Awareness and behavioural change: The Trusts conduct school and village-level campaigns to promote awareness of the disease and its causal agents. These campaigns also introduce behavioural change to the community so as to reduce the incidence of the disease.

Areas of Operation: South Odisha

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