| Mishra: Worried'
July 12: Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar and Darjeeling ' all in north Bengal ' are highly malaria-prone and contribute 51.6 per cent of all the positive cases in the state.
Not only that, 55.1 per cent of all the malignant malaria cases reported from across the state 'between January and May this year ' were from these three districts.
Revealing this at the Assembly today, health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra said: 'Jalpaiguri has the most widespread incidence of falciparum cases (malignant malaria is caused by the Plasmodium falciparum parasite). Of the 12,687 cases of malaria there, 3,880 were falciparum related.' The minister was replying to a calling attention motion by SUCI MLA Deba Prasad Sarkar.
According to Mishra, though the overall case fatality in the state has decreased by 14 per cent between January and May compared to the corresponding period last year, deaths have increased in these three districts in 2006 in relation to 2005 during the same time.
While there were seven deaths last year, 40 persons succumbed to falciparum malaria in the three districts this time.
'Alipurduar subdivision in Jalpaiguri contributed most of the deaths ' 25 out of 30,' the minister said.
'Extensive integrated vector control intervention, early diagnosis and prompt treatment activity with first and second line drugs, where it is necessary, are going on in these districts,' he added.
Last night, too, there were two malaria deaths ' Jhulan Pal (45) and Purabi Talukdar (8) ' in the Alipurduar subdivisional hospital. The district administration has in the meantime declared that it would give Rs 10,000 to families whose earning members have died of malaria. The money will be given under the National Family Development Scheme. The dependants of the deceased person have to apply to administration.
P.D. Pradhan, the subdivisional officer of Alipurduar, today visited the Alipurduar hospital and inquired about the treatment of the patients. He also talked to some of them.