Search This Blog

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Malarial deaths in India grossly underestimated by WHO

An article from The Hindu, excerpt :

" The number of deaths per year is almost 1,25,000, much more than the 15,000 estimated by WHO.

How many people die of malaria every year in India? According to the estimates of World Health Organisation (WHO), 15,000 (10,000 adults and 5,000 children) malarial deaths occur each year.

But a study published online today (Oct 21) in The Lancet points out that the numbers could be as high as 2,05,000 per year. The upper limit is around 2,77,000 and the lower limit is nearly 1,25,000.

This number for India alone is much higher than WHO's estimate of 1,00,000 deaths per year worldwide.

Trend already seen

The study underlines the fact that WHO estimates are a gross underestimation. Several studies in the past have shown that the number of deaths is more than WHO estimates.

The reason could be that WHO takes into account only those deaths that have been confirmed cases, and restricted to those seeking healthcare facilities. Also, the statistics are limited to a few high prevalent States (Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand) and northeast.

Can the results from small studies undertaken in select States or in select subpopulations, and only from those families that had access to healthcare facilities be extrapolated to arrive at a national estimate?"

No comments:

Post a Comment