7 November 2020.
Ministry of Earth Sciences has announced that The India Meteorological Department (IMD) will start issuing forecast for outbreaks of malaria from next monsoon.
- India also plans to ramp up its high-performance computing (HPC) facility from the existing capacity of 10 petaflops to 40 petaflops
- This will significantly help in improving weather predictions.
- In predictions India is only next to the US, the UK, and Japan in HPC.
- IMD studied the phenomenon of occurrence in malaria and its relationship with rainfall and temperature.
- First study was done on malaria data from Nagpur. This can be applied to other places as well.
- The same technique can be applied to other monsoon-related diseases such as dengue and cholera..
- World Malaria Report 2019, states that 19 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and India carried almost 85 per cent of the global malaria burden.
- According to the National Health Portal, the majority of malaria cases are reported from the eastern and central part of the country and from states which have a forest, hilly and tribal areas.
- These states include Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and some northeastern states like Tripura, Meghalaya, and Mizoram.
- In India, malaria cases have consistently declined from 2.08 million in 2001 to about 4 lakh in 2018.
- According to NHP, India has shown progress in reducing its disease burden.
- 90 per cent of the meteorology-related data comes from satellites.
- The rest of it comes from conventional sources like Doppler radars, buoys in the sea, ship and aircraft observation, and other observations.
Malaria vaccine in India
- Malaria vaccine known as RTS,S and branded as Mosquirix was approved by the European medicines agency in in 2015.
- It took 30 years to develop the vaccine. However, the vaccine only prevents four in 10 malarial cases.
- The vaccine is not registered in India.
- For a vaccine to get registered in India it must undergo clinical trials.
- No vaccine has so far been tried in India against malaria.
- Malawi is a first country chosen to roll out the vaccine.
- The other two countries chosen are Ghana and Kenya.