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IISc-based consortium launches ward-level pilot project for dengue outbreak prediction, prevention

BBMP Special Commissioner (Health) Vikas Suralkar has asked all the partners to set up meetings with the department for their support and integrate their solutions onto the BBMP's Sahaaya application.
Last Updated : 14 June 2024, 20:38 IST

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Bengaluru: The Indian Institute of Science’s (IISc) Bengaluru Science and Technology (BeST) cluster on Thursday launched the 'Region-specific Dengue Outbreak Prevention and Prediction' project to develop a ward-level vulnerability index to predict and prevent dengue outbreaks in Bengaluru.

The consortium, comprising partners such as the Tata Institute for Genetics and Society (TIGS), IISc, Initiative for Climate Action (ICA), The Echo Network, ARTPARK, and Molecular Solutions Care Health LLP, will work under the BBMP's One Health Cell.

Representatives of the institutions met BBMP health department officials at the Supercomputer Education and Research Centre (SERC), IISc, to present their research projects and technological tools developed to map the human, animal and environmental factors that impact the growth of Aedes mosquitoes and the outbreak of dengue.

Owned and funded by the BeST cluster, the project aims to integrate the technological solutions and the ward-level work the partner organisations have done in their individual capacities to create a vulnerability index. This will help them identify which city wards are at risk for dengue outbreaks and take necessary preventive measures.

BeST cluster’s CEO Ravi Tennety hoped that the BBMP would adopt the index. "We are looking to build this into a key component of Brand Bengaluru," he told DH.

The BBMP will supply historical dengue outbreak data, while the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) will provide real-time weather data to enhance dengue surveillance, prevention, and prediction efforts in the city.

BBMP Special Commissioner (Health) Vikas Suralkar has asked all the partners to set up meetings with the department for their support and integrate their solutions onto the BBMP's Sahaaya application.

Molecular Solutions Care Health LLP has worked on sero prevalence and human factors of dengue spread, while The Echo Network is creating city-wide awareness by empowering citizens to better report standing water and possible breeding sites. They have requested the BBMP's support in connecting to local schools and forming public awareness campaigns.

Dr Farah Ishtiaq from TIGS, along with IISc, will focus on expanding her team's mosquito surveillance project currently ongoing at Agara and Shanthinagar wards.

"In our study, we found many mosquito habitats outside people's homes. Therefore, improving screening of larval samples to detect arbovirus by extracting their RNA and developing an early warning system can help predict likely hotspots of possible dengue sites and prevent an outbreak in the city," Dr Farah said.

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Published 14 June 2024, 20:38 IST

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