Tuesday, 8 August 2006

Environmental Information System to keep check on spread of diseases

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Aug 7: Finally, the State government will be able to keep various epidemics, particularly the life-taking Japanese encephalitis, under control thanks to a special software being developed by the city-based Indian Institute of Chemical Technology.
Dozens of people fall victim to brain fever or Japanese encephalitis and several hundred to malaria and viral fevers in the State every year. The agency areas dominated by tribals are the worst hit. So far this year as many as a dozen people died due to viral attacks in different parts of the State. The main Opposition, Telugu Desam, however puts the number of deaths at around 1100.
The Environmental Information System at the IICT is presently working on a database management system for integrated control of Japanese encephalitis and bancroftian filariasis. It will be released in market soon. The software will help in successfully predicting the outbreak of epidemics round the year so that the State government wakes up in time to control the health menace.
"We are working on development of database on various ecological niches responsible for breeding of vector species with special reference to water quality," IICT director JS Yadav said.
The Envis is also busy developing a web-based software on identification of vector species with special reference to habitats by using expert system, text and graphics as well as a database on environmental and cultural methods for vector control in paddy fields.
The study includes development of various databases like micro and
macro breeding habitats, surveillance with special reference to ecological parameters like percentage of organic matter and factors influencing the emergence.
The software throws light on the ecological parameters affecting the dispersal and distribution of the vector species. The data will effectively bring out various environmental management methodologies for the control of vectors and vector borne diseases through integrated system and disseminate to various end users like post-graduate students of environmental sciences, health officials and non-governmental organisations.

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