Pakistan responsible for 363 malaria patients in Sistan-Baluchestan

October 19, 2020 - 18:1

TEHRAN – Some 363 patients infected with malaria have been identified in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan during the first half of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21), all of whom had visited Pakistan.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals; the disease is most commonly spread by an infected female Anopheles mosquito. The mosquito bite introduces the parasites from the mosquito's saliva into a person's blood.

It causes symptoms that typically include fever, tiredness, vomiting, and headaches. In severe cases, it can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma, or death. Symptoms usually begin ten to fifteen days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

“Since the past two years, there have not been any indigenous cases of malaria in our country,” Abdolreza Mirolaei, a Health Ministry expert said.

However, border traffic has led to 363 non-native cases in the province of Sistan-Baluchestan, he added, ILNA reported on Monday.

The disease is affected by population exchanges in countries and climate change, our country is located near the malaria-prone country of Pakistan, and since Sistan-Baluchestan province has long borders with Pakistan, the most malaria cases appear in the central and southern regions, he explained.

“We divide the provinces of the country into clean and affected by the disease, so the malaria-prone provinces of the country are Sistan-Baluchestan, Hormozgan and the south of Kerman province,” he stated.

Iran taking final step toward malaria elimination

Ahmad Raeisi, head of the Malaria control department of the Ministry of Health in July said that unfortunately, there have been cases of malaria-causing deaths in the last two years, but they are very rare. Patients in Iran were not infected and brought the disease from outside the borders. More than 95 percent of malaria cases are from Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the other 5 percent are Iranians who have contracted the disease while traveling to those countries.

Fortunately, the main route of transmission of the disease is still through the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito, he added.

There are about six species of Anopheles mosquitoes in Iran, of which there are no more than two or three species, which are actively involved in disease transmission in the south and southeast, and the rest are in the north of the Zagros, from which there is no malaria transmission, Raeisi said.

Although the most common route of transmission of malaria is mosquito bites, in rare cases there is a possibility of transmission through the use of shared syringes among injecting drug users, he noted.

According to WHO 2017 malaria report, the incidence rate of malaria in Iran has decreased significantly from 12,000 people in 2000 to 57 in 2017.

Iran has not had any indigenous cases of malaria for two years in a row, and if the country passes this year with no indigenous cases, the World Health Organization will grant it a certificate of malaria eradication.

Between 2000 and 2014, the number of malaria-related deaths fell by 40 percent worldwide, from an estimated 743,000 to 446,000.

There are 20 countries in the world that are moving towards the elimination of malaria; in the Eastern Mediterranean region, Iran is at the forefront.

WHO African Region carries high share of global malaria burden

According to the latest World malaria report, released in December 2019, there were 228 million cases of malaria in 2018 compared to 231 million cases in 2017. The estimated number of malaria deaths stood at 405,000 in 2018, compared with 416,000 deaths in 2017.
The WHO African Region continues to carry a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden. In 2018, the region was home to 93% of malaria cases and 94% of malaria deaths.

In 2018, 6 countries accounted for more than half of all malaria cases worldwide: Nigeria (25%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (12%), Uganda (5%), and Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, and Niger (4% each).

Children under 5 years of age are the most vulnerable group affected by malaria; in 2018, they accounted for 67% (272,000) of all malaria deaths worldwide.

FB/MG

Comments

  • 2020-10-19 23:07
    Surprising that Iran is not seeking help of India which is world leader in anti malarial drugs producton

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