Maha Fails to Tackle Malaria, AIDS Deaths Rise
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23 March 2011
By Sandeep Ashar & Nitin Yeshwantrao
When it comes to health, Maharashtra is not fighting fit. The state has not only failed to tackle the spread of vector–borne diseases such as malaria, it has also witnessed a sharp rise in the number of AIDS–related deaths. The state’s economic survey said that 1,574 people succumbed to AIDS in 2010 – 33% higher than the mortality rate recorded in 2009. In 2009, there were 1,183 AIDS–related deaths across the state. The number of people in–fected by the HIV virus has also increased by 30.12%: 13,182 cases were reported in 2010 as compared to 10,130 in 2009.
The HIV positivity rate – the ratio of the number of persons per lakh who tested positive – showed a drop from 3.5% in 2009 to 2.9% in 2010. Officials said the data indicates an improvement in the detection rate.
Malaria deaths drop, but cases rise by 80% over two years
On the one hand, the state and the municipal corporation have succeeded in arresting the rise in deaths due to malaria, but on the other, they have failed to bring down the incidence of the vector–borne disease. Data provided by the Directorate of Health Services, Government of Maharashtra shows that 1.24 lakh ma–laria cases were reported between April and December 2010. In contrast, 98,653 cases were reported in 2009–10. And in the previ–ous year, there were 69,003 cases of malaria. In other words, there has been an 80% rise in the incidence of malaria in the last two years.
Around 177 people died of malaria between April and December 2010, as against 232 deaths witnessed in 2009–10. In urban pockets and cities like Mumbai, officials identified high construction zones as problems areas. Cases of other vectorborne diseases like chikungunya and Japanese encephalitis also rose sharply, while those of dengue and filariasis declined.
State is third in India for crime against children
A comparison between states and union territories on various so–cioeconomic indicators has shown that Maharashtra has the du–bious honour of ranking third when it comes to crime against children. In 2009, 2,894 crimes against children were reported in the state. Only Madhya Pradesh (4,646 cases) and Uttar Pradesh (3,085) had a higher rate. Of the 2,894 cases in Maharashtra, 612 were related to incidents of rape and molestation. There were 534 cases of abduction and 182 murder cases.