ICMR, MoHFW, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh and Sun Pharma in agreement for Malaria Free India

Partnership to demonstrate malaria elimination in over 1,200 villages of MP’s Mandla district by FY21

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India (GoI), Government of Madhya Pradesh and Sun Pharma have announced India’s first public-private-partnership (PPP) agreement for Malaria Free India and other innovation in preventive healthcare.

The initiative was announced by Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Director General – ICMR, Principal Secretary Health, Gauri Singh, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Govt of Madhya Pradesh and Dilip Shanghvi, Managing Director, Sun Pharma as a unique effort to draw public private sector collaboration in promoting preventive health measures. The PPP stakeholders will jointly undertake malaria control and elimination programme by setting-up management and technical committees to provide oversight for disease surveillance and elimination.

Under the aegis of this unique PPP, a malaria elimination demonstration project titled Malaria Free India will be established to support the national framework for elimination of malaria in India. The demonstration project will be launched in one of the most malaria endemic districts of Madhya Pradesh and implemented in a phased manner, beginning with Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh. The PPP stakeholders will execute the malaria elimination programme over a span of three to five years covering over 1,200 villages in Mandla district.

The initiative will be governed by six-point-goals:

  • Demonstrate feasibility of malaria elimination in Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Eliminate malaria-attributable deaths in infants, children and pregnant women.
  • Sustain malaria-free Mandla district.
  • Strengthen existing health systems.
  • Introduce mobile-based surveillance systems and treat all malaria cases as per National Vector Borne Disease Control Program (NVBDCP) guidelines.

Mobilise communities by using information, education, and communication tools.

Rapid diagnostic tests, prompt treatment of effective anti-malarial drugs, long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets and indoor residual spray for achieving elimination of malaria will be used.

JP Nadda, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, said, “The first of its kind public-private-agreement between ICMR and Sun Pharma reiterates India’s commitment to eliminate malaria. The lessons learned would be used for elimination of malaria from the country by the national programme. I believe that this partnership has a potential to create sustainable impact by reducing malaria morbidity and improving people’s health. This will enable us to alleviate poverty within the target geographies through cost effective interventions and improvement of overall development and quality of life.”

Dr Narottam Mishra, Health and Family Welfare, Medical Education, AYUSH, Bhopal gas tragedy and Parliamentary Affairs said, “There are over 5,000 villages in Madhya Pradesh, with API over one and it is our endeavour to move the state and especially the malaria endemic districts towards API below one. I hope that this collaboration, which is starting from district Mandla, will expand to other districts and enable us to achieve the ambitious goals we have set for ourselves.”

Swaminathan said, “I am pleased that ICMR is partnering with Sun Pharma in a malaria elimination demonstration project – a high priority for us. Malaria is not uniformly distributed in India and 6 states are responsible for > 60 per cent malaria in the country. These are Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Northeastern states. 91 districts in India, having five per cent of country’s total population, 31 per cent of tribal population are high burden districts contributing nearly half of malaria cases and deaths.”

Shanghvi said, “Through our Malaria Free India initiative, we aim to achieve zero malaria incidences in more than 1,200 villages of Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh by FY21. The experience gained from Mandla project will guide the development of broader plans for malaria elimination in Madhya Pradesh as well as other high malaria endemic states in India.”

Sun Pharma will also establish a not-for-profit foundation. The foundation will operate as an independent entity by engaging national and international experts as knowledge partners for the project while remaining accountable to the Malaria Free India public-private-partnership stakeholders. The Malaria Free India demonstration project is in line with Sun Pharma’s CSR efforts for holistic development of underserved communities in a sustainable and impactful manner. A team of over 200 members will be part of the implementation of this demonstration project.

JP NaddaMalariaMoHFWSoumya SwaminathanSun Pharma