Webinar held in collaboration with National Vector Borne Disease Control Program was aimed at raising the awareness around the risk of vector borne diseases amidst the COVID19 pandemic

New Delhi, January 29, 2021 - Malaria No More India concluded the series of webinars under its mega awareness campaign- Bite Ko mat Lo Lite. The National Monsoon Campaign launched in 2020 facilitated successful engagement of experts throughout the year to deliberate on the overburdened public health infrastructure, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar titled- Multi-sectoral Call to Action to Fight Malaria & Other Vector Borne Diseases was convened by Malaria No More India, on January 29, 2021 from 11:00 am – 12.00 noon through a virtual platform.

The panel was joined by Dr. Kalpana Barua, Additional Director and Head of Entomology & Vector Control, the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program (NVBDCP); Dr Pyare Lal Joshi, Former Director, NVBDCP & Advisor to the World Health Organization and Malaria No More; Dr Pradeep Kumar Srivastava, Co-Chair, Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network & Former Joint Director, NVBDCP; Dr. Sahajanand Prasad Singh, President Elect, Indian Medical Association; Dr. Manoranjan Ranjit, Scientist G, ICMR’s Regional Medical Research Center in Bhubaneshwar; Dr. Harshal Salve, Associate Professor, Centre of Community Medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi; Dr. Bhupendra Tripathi, Country Lead, Elimination Programs– NTD, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation– India Country Office. 

The live audience included senior officials of Regional Offices of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, the State Directorates of Health, as well as private sector organizations from different parts of the country.

The participants presented detailed analysis and viewpoints, focusing on the following themes:

  1. Global and national focus on eliminating malaria and other vector borne diseases
  2. Programmatic efforts and achievements in community awareness on vector borne diseases amidst COVID19 pandemic
  3. 2021 priorities to combat malaria and vector borne diseases in India
    • Surveillance and data driven decision making
    • Private health sector participation
    • Integrated vector management
  4. Call to Action to communities and stakeholders

The critical priorities emerged from the discussion included the need to strengthen intersectoral coordination, with emphasis on new technologies such as geospatial mapping, ultrasensitive tests, innovative communications and applications for data-driven decision making. The panelists also highlighted the need of increased resource and workforce requirement for strengthened vector surveillance and integrated vector management, more research on G6PD deficiency, and streamlined solution at the vector borne disease-climate interface.

Talking about the takeaways from the session, Mr. Pratik Kumar, Senior Advisor, Malaria No More India said, “We are aware about the COVID-19 pandemic, by curse of its magnitude and killing power, and it has not only siphoned the attention of the entire ecosystem, but also shifted the focus of the threat perception of the population since its beginning earlier last year. Globally the impact of this shift has been tremendous on the mindfulness of the population towards other illnesses, resulting in other infectious diseases, including malaria, taking backseat in terms of priorities. Amidst this crisis, thanks to the tremendous programmatic stride taken by the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program, our campaign Bite Ko Mat Lo Lite, collaborative efforts of the stakeholders, India has been able to sustain its command in controlling vector borne diseases.” 

Bite Ko Mat Lo Lite (“Don’t Take the Bite Lightly”) – launched in 2020 monsoon season and reaching more than 150 million people across 21 states by Malaria No More India with partners The Times Group of India, Facebook, Star India, WPP, Sony Pictures Networks India, and entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala – is driving timely prevention, testing and treatment for malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. 

The Bite Ko Mat Lo Lite campaign was designed in response to a modeling by the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners that showed a potential doubling of malaria deaths in 2020 if essential malaria programs are delayed or disrupted due to COVID-19 lockdowns and people not seeking timely treatment for malaria. The WHO also warned that a potential increase in cases and deaths would have significant impact on health systems overwhelmed by COVID-19.

For more information and prevention and treatment tips, please visit: https://bitekomatlolight.com/


About Malaria No More India 

Malaria No More (MNM) envisions a world where no one dies from a mosquito bite. To support India’s historic drive to eliminate malaria by 2030, MNM India is working with partners at the national level to mobilize the necessary political will, funding and innovation. MNM India’s Strategic Support Unit also works at the state level, providing technical management support to the malaria programme in Odisha, once India’s state with the highest burden of malaria.

For more information please contact: 

Aditya Charan, MSL Group

Contact number: +91 9001315980

Email: aditya.charan@mslgroup.com

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