Over the past 10 years, deaths caused by malaria in the country have decreased by 92% and the number of malaria patients also showed a sharp decline of 65%, according to a recent study.
However, Cox's Bazar and three districts in Chattagram Hill Tracts remain at high risk of the disease.
Data compiled by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) shows at least 93% of malaria patients hail from Rangamati, Bandarban, and Khagrachhari, while Bandarban is the highest epidemic district with 60% of the total patients.
In 2017, a joint survey of the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) and Brac found the number of malaria patients increased to 29,000 from 27,000 in 2016.
NMEP and Brac disclosed the information on Tuesday at a press conference ahead of World Malaria Day, which will be observed on Wednesday.
Speaking at the press briefing, Dr MM Aktaruzzaman, deputy program manager of Malaria and Aedes Transmitted Disease Program, said malaria mortality rates have decreased to 92% in the last 10 years. In 2007, 228 patients died and the figure plummeted to 13 in 2017.
After the Rohingya started entering Bangladesh from Myanmar’s Rakhine state, many became worried about the outbreak of malaria in Cox's Bazar, said DGHS Director General, Dr Abul Kalam Azad.
“But we took the issue seriously. We tested at least 47,000 people and among them, only 10 were diagnosed with malaria.”
By 2021, malaria will be eliminated from at least 59 districts, and by 2030 the whole country will be free of the disease, he forecast.
To mark World Health Day, DGHS will launch a variety of programs including rallies, medical camps, and a discussion in the Cirdap auditorium on Wednesday.