Genesis of the program
Developing a community based strategy for prevention and control of malaria: Tata Trusts in partnership with Mitra-Christian Hospital, Bissam Cuttack set up a malaria resource centre to train Community based organizations (CBOs) on malaria and developing feasible approaches for prevention and control of malaria at the village level. A Baseline Survey was conducted in 2010 in six locations in four districts to understand the prevalence of malaria and the status of knowledge, attitude and practice at the community level. Basing on the findings, a community-based strategy to reduce malaria was designed.
Implementing the community based strategy – Partnering with Civil Society Organizations: The community based strategy for `prevention and control of malaria was rolled out in 2012 in 4 districts (Kalahandi, Rayagada, Gajapati and Rayagada) covering 12 blocks, 633 villages and catering to population of1.5 lakhs. It was implemented in partnership with 10 likeminded CSOs. The strategies used for prevention and control of malaria adopted included: a) Education for empowerment b) Saving lives, decreasing sufferings and reducing parasite load c) Reduction of vector density d) Behaviour change and use of personal protection measures e) Organizational capacity building, Monitoring and evaluation for measuring and sustaining change.
Evidences of change: The systematic intervention in the 4 districts with a well-defined strategy resulted in generation of evidences of significant changes in various malaria related indicators. The results of the 50 villages having a population of 12,700 who predominantly were dalit and Adivasi community under the MITRA project of Christian Hospital Bissam Cuttack demonstrated marked reduction in Malaria parasitaemia rate in children under 5 years(%),Under 5 mortality rate (per 1000 live births) and Fever death rate(per 1000 population). Besides this in other partner areas there were also marked reduction in child parasite rate and reduction in fever death rate (per 1000 population.
Scaling up the learnings- Recognition by Government of Odisha: The Government of Odisha has recognized the strategic interventions of the TATA Trusts- MITRA Malaria Control and Prevention Initiative. The Government expressed keenness in replicating the mal-mal strategy to reach out to the most inaccessible areas of Odisha where malaria is endemic resulting in high mortality and morbidity. Further Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India also selected the Malaria Control and Prevention Initiative of the Tata Trusts as the best practice on Tribal health in India.
Signing of MOU with GoO- Taking Odisha towards Elimination of Malaria: An MOU was signed between Government of Odisha and TATA TRUSTS on 18th March 2016 for implementing malaria control and prevention activities along with research and technological innovation with the aim of improving quality of lives of people in malaria endemic southern districts of Odisha.