It helps State health officials in preventing disease outbreak

A new surveillance tool developed here by scientists of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for preventing outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) was handed over to the Tamil Nadu Public Health Department on Sunday.

The Centre for Research in Medical Entomology (CRME) in Madurai, a premier research laboratory of ICMR in the field of vector-borne diseases, has come out with a new technique to understand the disease and take steps to prevent outbreaks. V.M. Katoch, Director General, ICMR, along with senior scientists/health officials participated in the technology transfer meeting.

“It is the mandate for us to assist the Tamil Nadu Government in preventing vector-borne diseases. The new surveillance tool was handed over to the State Health Department under the Technology Transfer arrangement,” said B.K. Tyagi, Director in-charge, CRME.

He told The Hindu that a group of CRME scientists had indigenously developed/improvised new surveillance tools for Japanese Encephalitis after doing research for about five years.

“By following this tool, we can know beforehand if there is any impending outbreak of JE. It gives preparedness for the public health officials,” Dr. Tyagi said.

This vector-borne disease occurs among children up to 15 years of age and Tamil Nadu was having an “endemic situation” till recently. The State Government had launched massive vaccination programme and the situation was greatly under control now, he said.

“Still a few districts are prone to Japanese Encephalitis and our objective is to work together with the Tamil Nadu Government to see that it is eradicated.”

Dr. Tyagi said that the CRME has a distinguished record of 25 years of scientific work in entomological understanding/research on Japanese Encephalitis.

The ICMR Director General was in the city to take part in the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Centre for Research in Medical Entomology new campus coming up at Vadapalanji village near here.

  • It is developed by scientists of Indian Council of Medical Research
  • “A few districts are prone to Japanese Encephalitis”