Indian Meteorological Department to provide predictions for Malaria from next monsoon

On November 7, 2020, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) announced that it will start providing Malaria outbreak forecast from next monsoon. Also, it announced that India is to ramp up its high performance computing facility. Under this the existing capacity of 10 petaflop is to be increased to 40 petaflops.

According to the recently released NCAER report titled “estimating the economic benefits of investment in monsoon mission and high performance computing facilities“, the investment in high-performance computing facilities is to bring 50 times benefits and profits.

Highlights

The Indian Meteorological Department recently studied the phenomenon of occurrence of malaria and its relation with rainfall. The department conducted its first study in the city of Nagpur. This is to be applied to other cities as well.

The need

According to the world Malaria report India accounts to 85% of global Malaria burden. Also, the National Health portal reports that the majority of malarial cases are from the central and Eastern part of the countries. This is mainly because these States have dense forests, tribal areas and hilly regions. The states include Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and the North Eastern states such as Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

Progress

The number of malaria cases was 2.08 million in 2008.It has declined to 4 lakhs in 2018. According to the National Health portal, India is the only country to show progress among all the other hardest hit Malaria countries.

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.

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