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Drug resistant tag for Tripura
Published on 30 Aug. 2010 11:53 PM IST
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Tripura has been identified as “drug resistant” by the Union ministry of health and family welfare because of failure of traditional medicines to prevent malaria. Disclosing this, the director of health and family welfare, Dr Satya Debbarma, said following reports filed by the state, the ministry had conducted a survey by deputing an expert team and identified Tripura as drug resistant.
“Following our reports, the ministry had notified Dhalai and South Tripura districts as drug resistant. However, after the latest survey conducted in June-July, the Union ministry agreed with our findings and identified the entire state as drug resistant,” Dr Debbarma said.
He said malaria-affected people in the interior areas had stopped responding to traditional drugs such as Chloroquine but the sphere of resistance has spread now to all four districts. “What is alarming is that malaria in Tripura has been taking malignant forms like meningitis and meningococcal with heavy death toll. Though according to official statistics the number of malaria deaths has gone down over the past two years, this disease remains a major threat because without timely treatment death is inevitable from malignant malaria.” The doctor said the Union ministry of health and family welfare has started despatching “quality medicine” and government health workers have been on regular visits to the interior areas of the state with rapid diagnostic test kits. Apart from this, medicated mosquito nets worth Rs 1.66 crore for distribution among people in malaria-prone areas have also arrived.
During the past four financial years, the state health department has received Rs 11 crore for malaria control programmes but this has not produced desired results.
He, however, admitted that along with the people living in malaria prone areas, officers and jawans of paramilitary forces such as the TSR, BSF and Assam Rifles were equally affected by the disease.
Since 2003 when insurgency showed signs of declining, malaria has become the worst nemesis of BSF jawans in the hilly border areas with Bangladesh.
Former BSF inspector-general J.A. Khan had said last year that malaria had replaced insurgents as the worst enemies of the force in Tripura. Everyday around 20-25 TSR jawans undergo treatment in hospitals across the state for malaria.
Dr Debbarma, however, expressed hope that the situation would improve soon.

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