Sunday, 19 June 2016

When Europe can be free of malaria, why can't India? - IMA’s views on how NICD Coolers can help tackle the malaria menace

When Europe can be free of malaria, why can't India? - IMA’s views on how NICD Coolers can help tackle the malaria menace New Delhi, April 25, 2016: Dengue and Chikungunya have become important outbreak prone vector-borne diseases in the country. Outbreaks result in loss of working man-hours, long period disability in patients after initial recovery from diseases like Chikungunya, mortality in patients suffering from dengue hemorrhagic fever, which directly affect the economy of the society. The mosquitoes transmitting these viral diseases are found breeding in domestic/peri-domestic containers including desert coolers. The conventional desert coolers are being used in many parts of the country as cooling devices in houses, offices and industrial establishments during the summer months. They hold water for long period and they have become the potential breeding grounds for dangerous mosquitoes in absence of adequate control efforts. A study carried out in Delhi area revealed that these conventional coolers contribute to more than 50% of the breeding places of dengue vectors. This happens for the following reasons: The water tank of the conventional coolers is open type that attracts mosquitoes for egg laying and results in prolific breeding of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and transmits dengue/Chikungunya viruses. Weekly larviciding or cleaning is required to prevent breeding of mosquitoes inside the cooler, which is often not practiced. Standing water in the cooler, when not in use, particularly during monsoon season, has high potential for the breeding of dengue vector mosquito and thus increases the risk of disease transmission. In order to overcome the above problems, a mosquito-proof desert cooler (NICD Cooler) has been designed in 2009. The NICD cooler is a patented item and registered with National Research Development Corporation (A DSIR enterprise, Ministry of Science and Technology). Speaking about the same, Dr SS Agarwal – National President IMA & Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal – Honorary Secretary General IMA said, “Eradication of malaria is a key goal of the IMA. Last week, the WHO declared the European region free of malaria with zero cases of malaria reported in the year 2015. When Europe can be free of malaria, why can't we? IMA believes that through concentrated efforts, we can fight the mosquito borne disease responsible for a large number of preventable deaths in our country. Awareness on hygiene and sanitation, disease prevention as well as community management of the disease is key. The development of unique products like the NICD coolers aimed at tackling the malaria menace must be encouraged. Together we must take a pledge to make India a malaria free country.” The NICD cooler has the following advantages over the conventional desert coolers: Water tank of the NICD cooler is completely covered to prevent the entry of mosquitoes in to the water tank for egg laying. There is thus no risk of disease transmission due to coolers. No weekly cleaning of the water tank is required. No chemical larvicide is required to kill mosquito larvae. It can be conveniently installed in high-rise buildings. Even standing water in the cooler, when not in use, has no risk of mosquito breeding.

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