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GIS aid in fighting vector-borne diseases in India

Bhubaneswar, India: Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is considering to undertake GIS mapping of mosquitoes in Orissa, India. Dr S K Kar, Director of Regional Medical Research Centre (an ICMR institution), will lead the study. Besides RMRC, Vector Control Research Centre, Puducherry, and National Malaria Research Institute, Delhi, in collaboration with the state government will be part of the exercise.

According to Dr Kar, proposed GIS mapping of vectors is aimed at evolving a common strategy to fight all vector-borne diseases at one go. In GIS mapping, data linked to specific locations are captured, stored and analysed.

“ICMR director general Dr VM Katoch has already written a note to the institutions concerned for undertaking the project. We will soon evolve a protocol and make an estimate of the costs to be incurred,” Dr Kar said. ICMR aims to complete the exercise before monsoon when mosquito breeding goes up, he added. Once done for Orissa, similar exercises will be undertaken in other states.

While different vectors cause dengue, malaria, filaria and chikungunya, separate programmes are undertaken to control these diseases, resulting in duplication of efforts and resources. However, if all vectors of a particular location are known, one common programme can be designed for that area to kill all vectors. “The mapping will help gradually shift from disease-specific to location-specific strategy depending on what kind of vectors are present in a particular area,” Dr Kar said.

After the mapping, the study will also come out with city and district-specific suggestions to control the disease causing vectors, he said.

Source: TOI