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IGNOU Celebrates World Malaria Day to Create Awareness for Eradication of the Disease

26 April, 2019
IGNOU’s School of Sciences along with Public Health Department, South Zone, SDMC (South Delhi Municipal Corporation) celebrated “World Malaria Day” with eminent experts’ lectures on the topic to create awareness among the public and also highlight the importance of community work in the area. The theme for World Malaria Day 2019 - ‘Zero Malaria Starts with Me’ puts the individual at the center to make a personal commitment to fight the deadly disease by adopting simple measures of keeping the surroundings clean and not let water stagnate for long to check breeding of the mosquito larvae. 
 
The function started with the welcome address by Prof. M. S. Nathawat, Director of the school. He felicitated the Vice-Chancellor IGNOU, Prof. Nageshwar Rao, Chief Guest, Shri Vishwendra, Deputy Commissioner, SDMC, Public Health Department, Dr. R. S. Sharma, Technical Expert, WHO and Prof. Shilpi Garg, BITS, Pilani with a bouquet and a memento. He also gave a brief on the disease spread in the country and the global efforts to control it. He urged the public to make personal efforts to help check the disease in accordance with the theme of the day. 
 
Prof. Neera Kapoor, School of Sciences, coordinator of the programme shared details about the programme as well as provided background to the World Malaria Day. She informed that according to WHO’s latest World malaria report, no significant gains were made in reducing malaria cases in the period 2015 to 2017. The estimated number of malaria deaths in 2017, at 4,35 000, remained virtually unchanged over the previous year. She emphasised that School of Sciences, especially discipline of Life Sciences, has been actively engaged in research activities related to vector borne disease. She thanked the Vice-Chancellor for the support and consent for this first ever programme in any University to create awareness for elimination of the disease. She also thanked South Delhi Municipal Corporation, Public Health Department, Deputy Commissioner Shri Vishwendra for the support to the programme and gracing the occasion.
 
Dr. R. S. Sharma, Technical Expert WHO in his address said that all stakeholders have to work together and be sensitized to combat the disease. He also informed that World health Organization established World Malaria Day in 2007 to educate and make everyone aware of the preventive measures and make global efforts to fight it.   
 
Deputy Commissioner, SDMC, Shri Vishwendra in his address congratulated Prof. Nageshwar Rao, Vice-Chancellor for agreeing to such an initiative which is a first in any university. He highlighted the fact that eradication of this disease can only be possible with community efforts by all the stakeholders. He mentioned the research work needs to factor-in the age old home-grown methods for prevention of the disease.   
 
Pro-Vice-Chancellor IGNOU, Honourable Prof. R.K. Kanhere in his speech on the day shared the experiences he has had with communities in dealing with this vector borne disease. He shared how this disease spreads in the body from liver to blood in the body and how this can be prevented by checking at the right stage. He also advocated preventive measures which do not require any expertise and can easily be practised using behaviourial control of the mosquitoes.  
 
Vice-Chancellor, Honourable Prof. Nageshwar Rao in his presidential address complimented the School for such an initiative and also thanked South Delhi Municipal Corporation, Public Health Department for the support to the programme at the university. He said that the programme would help in sensitizing everyone about this deadly disease and that the deliberations held would be disseminated to the 56 Regional Centers and 3000 Study Centers across the country benefiting our 3 million plus learners. He said that the University would be keen to partner with local bodies like SDMC for elimination and containment of the disease. 
 
Vice-Chancellor, IGNOU launched the Project on “Mosquito Breeding Free IGNOU Premises under PPP Model for Prevention and Control of Vector Borne Diseases” proposed by SDMC. 
 
The inaugural session was followed by the technical session where eminent experts shared their insights about the types of mosquitoes causing malaria and other vector borne diseases and their breeding pattern and the research being done in the area at global level. The future scenario of malaria prevention and control was the main thrust of the session as malaria is to be eliminated by year 2030.
 
Research activities of PhD research scholars of IGNOU and other Universities/Institutes were displayed in the form of posters and exhibition related to mosquitoes, their life cycle and control was organised by SDMC on this day.