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Persistent foci of falciparum malaria among tribes over two decades in Koraput district of Odisha State, India

Sudhansu Sekhar Sahu, Kasinathan Gunasekaran*, Perumal Vanamail and Purusothaman Jambulingam

Author Affiliations

Vector Control Research Centre (ICMR), Medical Complex, Indira Nagar, Puducherry, 605006, India

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Malaria Journal 2013, 12:72  doi:10.1186/1475-2875-12-72

Published: 21 February 2013



Koraput, a predominantly tribe-inhabited and one of the highly endemic districts of Odisha State that contributes a substantial number of malaria cases to the India’s total. Control of malaria in such districts would contribute to change the national scenario on malaria situation. Hence, a study was carried out to measure the magnitude of malaria prevalence in the district to strengthen the malaria control activities.


Prevalence of malaria was assessed through a sample blood survey (SBS) in seven randomly selected community health centres (CHCs). Individuals of all age groups in the villages selected (one in each subcentre) were screened for malaria infection. Both thick and thin smears were prepared from blood samples collected by finger prick, stained and examined for malaria parasites searching 100 fields in each smear. The results of a blood survey (n = 10,733) carried out, as a part of another study, during 1986–87 covering a population of 17,722 spread in 37 villages of Koraput district were compared with the current survey results. Software SPSS version 16.0 was used for data analysis.


During the current study, blood survey was done in 135 villages screening 12,045 individuals (16.1% of the total population) and among them, 1,983 (16.5%) were found positive for malaria parasites. Plasmodium falciparum was the major malaria parasite species accounted for 89.1% (1,767) of the total positives; Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium malariae accounted for 9.3% (184) and 0.2% (5), respectively. Gametocytes were found in 7.7% (n = 152) of the positive cases. The majority of parasite carriers (78.9%) were afebrile. The 1986–87 blood survey showed that of 10,733 people screened, 833 (7.8%) were positive for malaria parasites, 714 (85.7%) with P. falciparum, 86 (10.3%) with P. vivax, 12 (1.4%) with P. malariae and 21 (2.5%) with mixed infections.


The results of the current study indicated a rising trend in transmission of malaria in Koraput district compared to the situation during 1986–87 and indicated the necessity for a focused and reinforced approach for the control of the disease by improving people’s access to diagnosis and treatment and ensuring implementation of the intervention measures with adequate coverage and compliance.

Plasmodium falciparum; Koraput; Odisha; India