The Chennai Corporation is planning to establish a Mosquito Research and Control Centre.
The proposed facility would generate scientific data pertaining to effective mosquito control and recommend measures to curb mosquito menace that does not affect the environment. It is expected to fill the missing link between the mosquito control initiatives and the result at the grassroots level, according to an official of the civic body.
The Corporation would hold discussions with reputable technical institutions shortly to seek their guidance for establishing the facility. The proposal of the civic body is in response to the problems faced by it in effectively controlling the menace. A chunk of the malaria cases in the State are reported in Chennai.
The Health Department of the civic body recently started a weekly intensive fogging operation covering all roads of the city simultaneously. It has also asked residents to call its toll free helpline 1913 if workers did not turn up for intensive fogging operations every week on their road.
According to data collected by the civic body, the fogging operations were effective. In Adyar zone, it brought down the adult mosquito density (10-man-hour) from 360 to 40, the steepest decrease across the 10 zones.
However, the civic body is not able to quantify the effect of intensive fogging on agents of pollination such as bees in order to assess the adverse effect on the city's flora.
The research facility to be set up would address such concerns of the environmentalists on anti mosquito operations in the city. It would also provide information on the cutting edge technology in mosquito control, the official added.
“The Health Department of Chennai Corporation has successfully been able to stop malaria deaths. But a number of malaria cases continue to be reported in Chennai. More focus on research is the solution,” said the official.
As malaria is endemic to Chennai, the dedicated research centre will also be of help when there are instances of rapid spread of the disease, the official said.