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GIS to control vector-borne diseases soon

Following its initiatives in developing software packages for the control of vector-borne diseases like malaria, Japanese encephalitis, filariasis, the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad, has undertaken a unique programme in the country called the Environmental Initiative System (Envis). Envis, a joint initiative of World Bank and the ministry of environment and forests, has been undertaken by the Centre for Bioinformatics Vector Control in IICT. The aim is to check the spread of vector-borne diseases in the country, said IICT director Dr JS Yadav. Envis takes the support of bioinformatic tools to prevent the outbreak of vector-borne diseases.

The objective of Envis is to develop a database on environmental and cultural methods for vector control in paddy fields and breeding of vector species with reference to water quality. Besides, the study includes development of various user-friendly databases like breeding habits, surveillance of ecological parameters like percentage of organic matter, Dr USN Murthy, deputy director at IICT, told eFE.

According to Dr Murthy, who is the Envis centre coordinator, the programme will take the help of GIS and remote sensing applications to know the spread of these diseases and chart out maps in relation to endemic zones. The Envis system will help develop forecasting systems, prepare classification methods and develop clusters according to the data type. Following this, vector monitoring system and disease monitoring system can be prepared based on the classified endemic zones. Bioinformatics or medical informatic tools are fast gaining importance in developing forecasting systems. These tools are used to develop databases for vector monitoring and disease monitoring.