The Centre has formally launched a Rs. 791 crore “enhanced malaria control projection from mosquito bites by employing insecticide impregnated bed nets. The five-year project will use a decentralised strategy and people’s participation with emphasis on disease diagnosis, treatment and protection from mosquito bites by employing insecticide impregnated bed nets.
The project was launched by Health Secretary Mr. P. P. Chauhan, in the presence of the World Health Organisation Regional Director Mr. Uton Muchtar Rafei, and the World Bank representative, Mr. Prabhat Jha. The project director, Mr. Shiv Lal, said the project would covr 100 districts in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. A total of 18 cities have also been included.
Prabhat Jha has emphasised the need for heavy reliance on an improved surveillance system for early detection and prompt treatment of malaria. Explaining the role of GIS he said “the idea is to simply feed in the information and have tools that would analyse the geographical spread of malaria. The GIS is a tool that holds promise and needs to be tried out.” The project aims to create, test and implement a Geographic Information System (GIS) at NMEP (Directorate of National Malaria Eradication Programme) including research on ecologic, climatic and socio-economic risk factors for malaria. The project will be reviewed once in two years.
Dr. B. N. Nagpal Research Fellow, Malaria Research Centre, obtained Ph.D. in 1986 for his thesis on ‘Mosquitoes of Orissa’. He has written a book entitled “Indian Anophelines” published by Oxford India, 1995. Current areas of research includes bioecological studies on malaria vectors, stratification of malarious areas using remote sensing and GIS technology.