Bhubaneshwar, 21 February 2023: Malaria No More (MNM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Odisha to eliminate malaria from the state. The tripartite partnership also included Prayatna, a grassroot organization that is the implementing and fiduciary partner of the MNM India program of Malaria No More. The MoU was signed in the presence of Dr. Ajit Kumar Mohanty, Special Secretary, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Odisha; Dr. Niranjan Mishra, Director of Public Health, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Odisha; Dr Shubhashisha Mohanty, JD and SPO, State NVBDCP, Government of Odisha; Ms. Anuradha Khanal, Director, Global Policy and Advocacy, Malaria No More; and Mr. Pratik Kumar, Country Director, Malaria No More.
MNM has been supporting the Government of Odisha since 2018 to strengthen the state’s malaria control and elimination program, offering technical, strategic, implementation, advocacy, and innovation support. This new MoU marks the strength of the existing partnership between MNM and Government of Odisha, with an extended partnership period of 5 years.
Over the next 5 years, MNM seeks to build on and enhance the previous MoU by expanding operational geography to cover additional parts of Koraput and Malkangiri – two of the most malaria endemic districts of the country. The extended partnership will also focus on integration of newer tools and innovative technology, including advanced data reporting, management, and analysis tools; strengthening of inter-sectoral and inter-departmental coordination for a concerted and collaborative effort; and improving entomological capacity of the state. Additionally, the MoU will aim to include and integrate the malaria burden diagnosed and treated in the private health sector (both formal and informal) with the official reported burden. The private sector tends to address a significant proportion of malaria cases; thus this exercise will help ascertain the true burden of malaria in the state.
Commenting on the partnership, Dr. Ajit Mohanty, Special Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Odisha said, “This partnership will further accelerate the malaria elimination drive initiated by the Government of Odisha. The Govt. of Odisha has already exhibited their commitment in India by drastically reducing the case load and the support of Malaria No More will further add to these intensified efforts with district specific requirements. The services of Malaria Sathee, Malaria Doot at inaccessible, cut off areas of Koraput and Malkangiri is highly commendable as they have been successful in saving lives of more than 440 including the support for timely referral of Pregnant and U5 children in the year 2021 and 2022. I am hopeful in the extended period of partnership, Malaria No More will further intensify its support. I wish all my success to this new partnership and hope the partnership with the Govt of Odisha will witness a new need-based strategy for eliminating Malaria in Odisha with Odisha taking the Lead in India.”
Dr. Niranjan Mishra, Director of Public Health, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Odisha stated “Eliminating Malaria is an achievable goal and Government of Odisha is putting and leading all its best efforts in India to address it through district specific elimination strategy, Inter departmental coordination, technology, and other newer interventions. Malaria No More has been a credible partner to Govt of Odisha since 2018 and their support to Govt of Odisha in Malaria Elimination is very much appreciated, particularly in high endemic southern districts. Private sector engagement with monitored notification needs further strengthening under the Malaria Elimination Mission with grounded joint activities through inter departmental engagement. I wish the Malaria No More all the success with their partnership supporting the State government in its efforts towards malaria elimination.”
Ms. Anuradha Khanal, Director Global Policy and Advocacy, Malaria No More stated, “We believe that India will pave the way for global malaria elimination solutions, as it has in the past for diseases like polio. Odisha being one of the highest malaria endemic states of the country, will be critical in achieving this effort. The extension of our existing partnership with the Government of Odisha will furthers our ambition and help us support India’s aspiration of eliminating malaria from the country by 2030.”
Talking about the partnership, Mr. Pratik Kumar, Country Director, Malaria No More India said “We are honored to continue the collaboration with the Government of Odisha in this critical effort to eliminate malaria from the state. Our collaboration is an effort to fight the disease in one of the most endemic zones of the nation, supporting the Honorable Prime Minister’s vision of a malaria-free country by 2030. As we approach the elimination timelines, the focus will have to be to address critical gaps such as increased political will and commitment, inclusion of the private health sector, integration of innovative approaches and inventive solutions, and so on.“
Odisha’s progress towards malaria elimination is serving as a model for other high malaria burden states and regions. Malaria No More India is committed to supporting Odisha and the country in efforts to achieve the national goal of malaria elimination by 2030.