India has achieved a 46% decrease in reported malaria cases between 2000 and 2014 and is considered to be in the control phase by the World Health Organization (WHO). In India, malaria transmission is unstable, with the highest burden in the low-income, rural areas of the northeastern (NE) states. However, endemicity across the subcontinent varies greatly and other important foci exist outside the NE region. The populations considered to be at higher risk for malaria include shifting cultivators and forest workers, pregnant women, children under five years of age, migrant and mobile populations, and the armed forces.

Malaria in India is primarily caused by Plasmodium falciparum (66%) and P. vivax (34%). Both species occur together in many areas throughout India; however, P. falciparum is particularly dominant in the NE region while in certain states of north India, P. vivax is solely transmitted. There are six major Anopheles vectors present in India. An. culicifacies is widely distributed throughout the country and is the primary vector of rural and peri-urban malaria. A number of other vectors are implicated in different geographical regions of the country, including An. stephensi (in urban areas), An. fluviatilis (hills & forest fringe), An. Minimus, An. dirus (NE region), An. Epiroticus (Andaman & Nicobar islands)along with secondary vectors An. annularis, An. varuna, An. Jeyporiensis and An. philippinensis.

Quick Facts

  • 91% of the total population are at risk (total population: 1.25 billion)
  • 1.1 million malaria cases and 562 deaths in 2014
  • 0.085 Annual Parasite Index (cases/1,000 population/year)
  • Dominant malaria species: P. falciparum
  • Elimination goal: zero indigenous cases and zero deaths by 2030