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For malaria elimination India needs a platform for data integration
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  • Published on:
    Reporting of Adverse Drug Reactions and Pharmacokinetics of drugs will strengthen the digital dashboard for malaria
    • Suyesh Shrivastava, Scientist C ICMR--National Institute of Research in Tribal Health (NIRTH), Jabalpur
    • Other Contributors:
      • Dr. Tapas Chakma, Scientist G
      • Dr. Kalyan Brata Saha, Scientist F
      • Dr.Kritika Singh, Field Investigator

    Dear Editor,

    The article by Rahi et al1 Digitization of malaria surveillance tools is very informative, and it may raise malaria elimination activities in India. It would be a key step towards malaria elimination in India and if we need a strong malaria health information system we have to switch from aggregated data to near real time case based surveillance. We also agree that digitisation and real-time sharing of surveillance result and sharing of clinic pathological data is very essential for efficient management of disease outbreaks2 which may include Malaria outbreak by new species of Plasmodium; To their proposed platform (which may provide real time epidemiological, entomological and community surveillance data), there is a need of emphasis on drug efficacy determining factors and reporting of Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR) from each and every region and each and every case detected even in primary or community health centres of country. Drug treatment for malaria is far away from simple. Drug efficacy of anti-malarial drug depends upon various factors like a) Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs commonly used and including effect of high fat meal on relative bioavailability of lumefantrines and piperaquine3 b) Severe side effects of some drugs like life threatening ADRs from quinine, possibility of delayed haemolytic anemia in cases treated with Artemether- lumefantrine (c) Drug interactions between anti-malarial drugs and other drugs i.e. Quinine...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    The success of malaria digital dashboard is linked with development of basic health care infrastructure in rural/tribal areas
    • Anil Kumar Verma, Scientist-B ICMR-National Institute of Research in Tribal Health, Jabalpur, M.P.. India
    • Other Contributors:
      • Aparup Das, Scientist-G &Director

    We read the commentary by Rahi, M. et al., with great interest, about the need of digitisation of malaria surveillance data and its integration on a single digital platform for malaria elimination in India1. There is no doubt that digitisation of malaria surveillance tools and data will help patients, clinician, researchers, policy makers alike and ultimately may contribute in malaria elimination, if implemented timely and efficiently. However, the proposition of digital dashboard for collection, integration and sharing of data on malaria, though important, but seems a little far-fetched conjecture at this moment as majority of malaria cases are reported from rural/tribal areas with sparsely distributed health care and telecommunication infrastructure. The top ten tribal dominated states with a population of 36 % contribute about 73 % of total malaria cases2. The strength of healthcare workforce is poor in rural/tribal areas of India in comparison to the WHO minimum threshold of 22.8 per 10 000 population3. Further, there is strong need to strengthen the power (electricity), telecommunication and transport infrastructure in rural/tribal areas. Such healthcare environment in tribal areas increases the reluctance among tribal people for the public health care system and leads them towards quacks, traditional healers and nearby private practitioners. Further, this digital drive of healthcare system would require additional human resource, periodical training and digital infr...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.