Malaria Epidemiology Along the Indian Districts Bordering Bhutan and Implications for Malaria Elimination in the Region

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  • 1 National Institute of Malaria Research, New Delhi, India;
  • | 2 National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme, Guwahati, India;
  • | 3 National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme, Delhi, India;
  • | 4 Molecular Medicine Group, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi, India

It is important for malaria-endemic countries to address malaria control across international borders, and in particular to prioritize appropriate rapid diagnosis, treatment, and surveillance. Bhutan and India aim to achieve malaria elimination by 2023 and 2030, respectively. Malaria elimination along the Indo–Bhutan border is of common concern. We delineated malaria epidemiology along the border to provide a blueprint for focusing malaria control efforts in key foci within this region. Epidemiological data from 2015 to 2019 were analyzed, as the most drastic reductions in malaria burden across most parts of India were witnessed in this time frame. Several areas of concern include low surveillance in most border districts, favorable climatic conditions for perennial malaria transmission, and movement of potential parasite carriers because of the porous borders. India and Bhutan need to control the importation/exportation of malaria cases. We highlight the key foci of concern for which implementing tailor-made malaria control strategies may benefit both countries.

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Author Notes

Address correspondence to Amit Sharma, National Institute of Malaria Research, Sector 8, Dwarka, New Delhi, 110 077, India. E-mail: directornimr@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the submitted article are our own and not an official position of the institution or funder.

Authors’ addresses: Sanjeev Kumar Gupta, Poonam Saroha, Rekha Saxena, and Amit Sharma, ICMR-National Institute of Malaria Research, Dwarka, New Delhi, India, E-mails: nimr.sanjeev@gmail.com, sarohapoonam06@gmail.com, rekhas2011@rediffmail.com, and directornimr@gmail.com. Kuldeep Singh, ICMR-National Institute of Malaria Research, Field Unit Guwahati, Assam, India, E-mail: kuldeepgju17@gmail.com. Keshab Barman, National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme, Guwahati, Assam, India, E-mail: sphc.nvbdcp.assam@gmail.com. Avdhesh Kumar, National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme, Delhi, India, E-mail: kavdheshnvbdcp@gmail.com.

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