Malaria Current Affairs

IMD to release Malaria and Chikungunya Alerts

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has announced that it is working on a forecasting system that will give a 15-day warnings on the likelihood of a malaria or chikungunya outbreak across different regions of the country.

Salient Highlights

The services are aimed at providing custom, weather-related information to cope with challenges of a global warming and its associated impact of weather. Instances of extreme rainfall could mean instances of humid conditions and water logging that could precipitate vector-borne disease outbreaks.

IMD will release five-day and 15-day forecasts of heat-waves, cold waves and disease outbreaks.

IMD will offer this service by teaming up with the Medical Council of India and the Red Cross Society. IMD will customize the dynamical model for generating this service. The IMD’s National Climate Centre in Pune will be reorganised to offer such climate services. At present, the pune Centre is tasked with forecasting the monsoon and documenting monsoon-related statistics.

IMD is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology in India. It functions under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India. It headquartered in New Delhi and operates hundreds of observation stations across India.

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First malaria vaccine to be tested in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi in 2018

The World Health Organization has announced that it is ready to test the first malaria vaccine in the real world setting in 2018. The aim of the testing will be to ascertain whether the vaccine will work under real world circumstances or not. Kenya, Ghana and Malawi have been chosen for taking part in the pilot project.

The vaccine, RTS,S, also known as Mosquirix, was produced by GlaxoSmithKline in 1987 in a public-private partnership with the PATH Malaria Initiative and with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2015, the vaccine received approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

For the next four years (2017-2021), the vaccine will be administered to children between 5 and 17 months in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi. The vaccine will be given four times and will be administered by an intramuscular injection.

The RTS, S vaccine works by targeting the liver phase of the malaria parasite’s life cycle as the parasite multiplies inside the liver after getting introduced into the body by a mosquito bite. It has taken about 30 years for the creation of the vaccine to the approval of pilot programme in 2017. Only five species of Plasmodium parasite spread malarial parasite worldwide.

Need

According to WHO, malaria kills one child every two minutes and has killed 429,000 people in 2015. According to the WHO World Malaria Report 2016, Nigeria suffers most malaria deaths worldwide (26%), followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo (10%), India (6%), and Mali (5%). African continent suffers the most mosquito-borne ailments and there still exists gaps in prevention coverage as many people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to mosquito protection like bed nets or bug spray.

 

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