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Dhaka Tribune

Malaria on the rise in Chittagong Hill Tracts

The prevalence of Malaria is higher in remote areas of the upazilas and has increased rapidly in the last two months

Update : 07 Aug 2022, 11:42 PM

Chittagong Hill Tracts is witnessing a rapid increase in Malaria cases recently.

Although, 13 districts of Bangladesh are prone to Malaria, the situation is much worse in Khagrachari, Rangamati and Bandarban.

Jurachhari, Baghaichhari, Barkal and Bilaichhari among the upazilas of Rangamati have received twice as many patients as compared to last year. 

Bipash Khisa, civil surgeon of the district, said that the prolonged monsoon and reduced use of mosquito nets were some of the reasons for the increase in the prevalence of malaria.

Civil surgeon sources said that the prevalence of this disease is higher in remote areas of the upazilas and has increased rapidly in the last two months, resulting in deep concern amongst locals.

According to the district civil surgeon office, the number of malaria cases in the district was 404 in June this year, but it increased to 725 in July.

Among them, Jurachhari has the highest number of patients with 263 active cases. Barkal has 85 patients while Baghaichhari has 132, Naniachar 2, Longadu 14, Kaukhali 2, Kaptai 2, Rajasthani 61, Bilaichhari 158 and Rangamati Sadar 5.

Number of cases have surged in Sajek, Dumdumya, Maidang, Bilaichhari and Barak of Jurachhari in Rangamati’s Baghaichhari upazila.

According to Jurachhari Upazila Health Complex, malaria germs were found in the bodies of 263 people in July which was 123 in June. 

Besides, according to the health complex, the number of infected people was 49 in June last year, 47 in July, and 132 in June this year and 136 in July.

Number of patients doubled

According to the information of Brac Rangamati office, in June 2021, blood samples of 2,541 people were tested and 49 people were found to have malaria in Baghaichhari .

In July of the same year, the blood samples of 3,605 people were tested and 47 people were found with malaria germs in their bodies.

However, in June 2022, blood samples of 2,511 people were tested and 132 people were found to have Malaria.

In July, the presence of Malaria was confirmed in 136 of the blood samples of 3,190 people.

In Jurachhari upazila, 1,595 people were tested and 54 people were found infected in June last year while 2,054 were tested in July and 82 had Malaria germs in their bodies.

However, in June this year, 159 blood samples of 2,200 people had the germ and in July, 263 people among 3,132 people had Malaria germs in their bodies. 

The civil surgeon office of Rangamati district also said that 17,045 people were infected with Malaria in 2014, 2,993 people in 2018, 6,003 people in 2019, 1,377 people in 2020, and 1,600 people in 2021.

Malaria patients increasing due to insufficient medical care, lack of awareness

Atu Lal Chakma, chairman of Sajek UP of Baghaichhari upazila, said: “Malaria patients suddenly increased in Sajek this year. The actual number of patients shown in government-private figures is much higher since a lot of people don’t go to the doctors.”

Sadhan Kumar Chakma, chairman of Dumdumya union parishad of Jurachhari upazila said that the NGO BRAC conducted blood tests which helped to provide treatment to the patients.

He added: “My union has clinics in Kalabanchara, Barkalak and Bagakhali. I have proposed 13 more clinics so that people in remote areas can be assured of healthcare.”

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