Spatiotemporal Epidemiology of Malaria in India from 2007 to 2022

Karuppusamy Balasubramani Department of Geography, Central University of Tamil Nadu, Thiruvarur, India;

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Praveen K. Bharti ICMR-National Institute of Malaria Research, New Delhi, India;

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Christiana Amarthaluri ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India;

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Savitha Chellappan Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Central University of Tamil Nadu, Thiruvarur, India;

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Sujit Kumar Behera Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Central University of Tamil Nadu, Thiruvarur, India;

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Ajeet Kumar Mohanty ICMR-National Institute of Malaria Research, Panaji, India;

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Devojit Kumar Sarma ICMR-National Institute for Research in Environmental Health, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India;

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Aditya Prasad Dash Asian Institute of Public Health University, Cuttack, India;

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Praveen Balabaskaran Nina Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Central University of Kerala, Kasaragod, India

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India is a major contributor to the global burden of malaria, especially Plasmodium vivax infection. Understanding the spatiotemporal trends of malaria across India over the last two decades may assist in targeted intervention. The population-normalized spatiotemporal trends of malaria epidemiology in India from 2007 to 2022 were analyzed using a geographic information system with the publicly available “malaria situation” report of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program (NVBDCP). The NVBDCP data showed malaria cases to have steeply declined from 1.17 million in 2015 to 0.18 million cases in 2022; this is 10.1 and 18.7 fold lower than the WHO’s estimate of 11.93 million and 3.38 million cases in 2015 and 2022, respectively. From 2007 to 2022, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand consistently reported high caseloads of Plasmodium falciparum. In the same period, the P. vivax caseload was high in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The distribution of forest cover, annual rainfall, and proportion of the Scheduled Tribe population (the most underprivileged in Indian society) spatially correlated with malaria cases and deaths. Mizoram is the only state where cases were higher in 2022 than in 2007. Overall, India has made tremendous progress in controlling malaria and malaria-related deaths in the last decade. The decline could be attributed to the effective vector and parasite control strategies implemented across the country.

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Author Notes

Disclosures: All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article and its supplemental information. The state-wise malaria data are in the public domain and can be accessed from https://ncvbdc.mohfw.gov.in.

Authors’ contributions: P. Balabaskaran Nina and K. Balasubramani designed the study and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. K. Balasubramani and C. Amarthaluri analyzed and made the figures. P. K. Bharti, S. K. Behera, D. K. Sarma, A. P. Dash, and S. Chellappan contributed significantly to the interpretation and discussion sections of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Authors’ addresses: Karuppusamy Balasubramani, Department of Geography, Central University of Tamil Nadu, Thiruvarur, India, E-mail: geobalas@cutn.ac.in. Praveen K. Bharti, ICMR-National Institute of Malaria Research, New Delhi, India, E-mail: saprapbs@yahoo.co.in. Christiana Amarthaluri, ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India, E-mail: christiana.tapani@gmail.com. Savitha Chellappan and Sujit Kumar Behera, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Central University of Tamil Nadu, Thiruvarur, India, E-mails: savithachellappan@gmail.com and sujitkumar@cutn.ac.in. Ajeet Kumar Mohanty, ICMR-National Institute of Malaria Research, Panaji, India, E-mail: ajeet.nimr@gmail.com. Devojit Kumar Sarma, ICMR-National Institute for Research in Environmental Health, Bhopal, India, E-mail: dkbiotek@gmail.com. Aditya Prasad Dash, Asian Institute of Public Health University, Cuttack, India, E-mail: apdash@gmail.com. Praveen Balabaskaran Nina, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Central University of Kerala, Kasaragod, India, E-mail: praveen.nina@cukerala.ac.in.

Address correspondence to Praveen Balabaskaran Nina, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Central University of Kerala, Tejaswini Hills, Periye (PO), Kasaragod (DT), Kerala 671320, India. E-mail: praveen.nina@cukerala.ac.in
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