A team led by National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme (NVBDCP) joint director R. S. Sarma has found Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) lab technicians following old methods to check presence of malaria parasite in blood smears.

The team visited high-risk malaria zones in the city on Sunday, and crossed-checked the data provided by the VMC by collecting blood smears from the patients. They also collected 15 to 20 blood samples from eight sub-units of District Malaria Office here, inspected the slides prepared at laboratories functioning in 22 Urban Health Centres (UHCs).

They looked for malarial parasites in the slides. The team found that the lab technicians were still following old methods in conducting malaria tests. Better staining was required to assess accurately whether patients were suffering from malaria, it felt. The technicians were found to be not following stipulated time for conducting the tests.

There were chances of flawed results if correct timing was not adhered to. The technicians need to improve staining methods for the identification of malaria parasites, the team felt. An orientation programme to the lab technicians was the need of the hour, he opined.

The team stressed the need for intensifying Indoor Residual Spray (IRS) in the city. The corporation should take up the IRS within a week after every first visit of an area. It would help in breaking the mosquito breeding cycle.

The functioning of Peri Domestic Places (PDP) staff needed to be improved, the team felt.

The PDF staff should collect the malaria, dengue etc. details at every house they visited. The staff working for the IRS and PDP programme would also need to undergo orientation programme, and improve their spraying techniques, it felt.

The team visited New Rajarajeswaripeta and interacted with the patients suffering and those suffered from malaria.

Municipal G. Ravi Babu, Deputy Director (Malaria) Anil Kumar, Zonal Malaria Officer Phaneendra Kumar, DMOH Shalini Devi, CMOH M. Satyanarayana Raju, District Malaria Officer A. Rambabu, and Marlia Technical Officer Rama Rao were present.

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