at least 231 people have died in Orissa due to malaria, which has spread in eight western districts of the state. According to official figures more than 1,00,00 people have been affected. The district surveillance system which examined about 1.3 million blood samples in Koraput, Bolangir and Kalahandi districts found 1,90,794 samples to be carrying a cerebral malaria parasite known as Plasmodiumfalciparum .
According to A P Dash, director of the Institute of Life Sciences in Bhubaneswar, "The situation is very grim in Orissa. It is no longer a medical problem, rather it has become a social issue." The situation is more alarming in indigenous areas where health facilities are not easily accessible. Significantly, Orissa which has four percent of the country's population, accounts for nearly 20 per cent of the total malaria cases in the country.
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