Visakhapatnam has been selected as one of six cities in the country for establishing a dengue research centre. The centre, which will be managed by Andhra Medical College (AMC), will have Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and Demographic and Health Surveillance (DHS) units. Vizag is among only two cities in South India to have such a centre. which will be funded with Rs 5.7 crore.
The centres will be studying the seroprevalence of dengue and chikungunya diseases among the selected masses mapped by the unit team. For this study, Andhra Medical College will head the unit in Vizag. It was AMC that had proposed a dengue research centre in Visakhapatnam which got approved.
A special team of 20 members has been recruited for this pilot project, which will work for five years. Speaking to Yo! Vizag, Principal, Andhra Medical College, Dr PV Sudhakar, said, “We have so far mapped 11,000 people in Simhachalam, Chinna Gadili and Pedda Gadili areas. This will be a continuous process where field workers will survey households in different areas and take data on the number of fever and dengue cases being reported.”
Surveys will be conducted in every 1 lakh population area in the city and a study will be compiled on how many households are affected with dengue, chikungunya, fever and other diseases. All the field workers will be assigned to these areas and will take surveys simultaneously. The data generated during the study will be updated in the central server maintained by New Delhi-based INCLEN Trust International.
Apart from Vizag, other places selected for the dengue research centre project are INCLEN Trust International, at Shillong in Meghalaya, The Regional Medical Research Centre, at Bhubaneswar, The Society of Applied Sciences and Maulana Azad Medical College, at New Delhi, and the Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences.