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Malaria and related environmental issues in India: a case study of Aligarh city

Abha Lakshmi Singh and Atiqur Rahman
GeoJournal
Vol. 53, No. 1 (2001), pp. 89-99
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41147586
Page Count: 11
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Malaria and related environmental issues in India: a case study of Aligarh city
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Abstract

Malaria is one of the most widespread diseases in the world. Endemic malaria no longer occurs in many temperate zones as a result of social and economic improvement. At present malaria is the Third World's most dreaded killer. It kills over 1 million people and causes 300-500 million episodes of illness. In India, malaria-reported deaths have shown an upward trend. In 1955, a drive to eradicate malaria was launched in India. But after initial success it failed and malaria made a comeback. Malarial mosquitoes generally prefer unpolluted natural breeding sites but now they have adapted to the changed urban environment. In this paper, an attempt has been made to examine the occurrence of malaria and related environmental issues in a small town of India. Aligarh city, lying in the shadow of the country's capital New Delhi, was selected as a case study. Data were collected mainly from household surveys with the help of questionnaire interviews. About 2,185 households belonging to different income groups were sampled. The differences in the occurrence of malaria in the different income households (in 87% low, 69% lower-middle, 65% middle, 14% upper-middle, and 5% upper) suggest that most of these differences are related to the environmental conditions existing inside and outside their homes, such as poor drainage system, poor sullage disposal, open blocked drains, waterlogging and indoor water storage in open containers. Commitment both by the Government and local residents is needed to improve the environmental conditions and eradicate malaria.

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