BHUBANESWAR: Three top medical research institutes along with the Odisha Government will chalk out a vector control strategy to tackle malaria menace in the State.
The National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR), New Delhi, Puducherry-based Vector Control Research Centre (VCRC) and Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Bhubaneswar will join hands with Odisha Government to devise and carry out the strategy. This was decided at a meeting chaired by Secretary to Union Department of Health Research and DG of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Dr VM Katoch here on Saturday in presence of Health Secretary Arti Ahuja and RMRC Director Dr SK Kar.
The strategy will not only include preparation of a set of situation-specific guidelines for vector control but also formulate an insecticide planning mechanism. “Since different geographical and climatological regions seek different strategies, a set of guidelines will be formed,” sources said. The strategy will be evaluated on a half-yearly basis.
It was also informed in the meeting that ICMR is currently carrying out an end-line survey in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh to assess the impact of World Bank-supported malaria control programmes. The evaluation is expected to be completed by March. The outcome of the survey will also help guide the implementation of the strategy.
Malaria is a major public health problem in many parts of India, including Odisha. Despite various control measures undertaken by the State Government under National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme, morbidity and mortality continue to be a cause of concern.
Though vector control is an essential component of malaria control programmes, no systematic district-wise or area-wise data on the present status of malaria vectors in the State is available except for a few published articles based on research studies taken up by RMRC, VCRC and NIMR. These three ICMR centres have active research programmes in the State. While VCRC has a unit at Koraput, NIMR has a field research centre at Rourkela.
Last year, the ICMR and Health Department had jointly planned a series of activities under which vector studies were conducted in 16 districts. Of the rest 14, NIMR will cover four, while RMRC will cover 10 districts this year. Various outdoor spraying activities were also carried out.