In view of the increasing number of vector-borne diseases including dengue and chikungunya in many parts of the country over the years, the Ministry of Health is in the process of creating adequate number of well-trained entomologists- pest specialists to help states implement an effective pathogen. Control measures.
As per the revised government policy, every district in the country should have at least one trained entomologist to successfully drive vector control initiatives under the public health system despite the enormous demand and supply gap as there are at least 700 districts in the country. But not more than 50 working entomologists.
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“There is a huge shortage of trained entomologists in the country; And with increasing vector-borne diseases, there is a need to expand the program to increase seats so that we can produce technically sound competent workforce and run vector control programs effectively, especially in high-burden areas,” said Dr. S Sabation, Assistant Professor, Indian Council of Medical Research-Vector Control Research Center (VCRC) is running the training programme.
The center in Puducherry, which is the only institute to offer a master’s degree in public health entomology, has extended the course to four other research institutes under ICMR, taking the total number of seats to 68 from this academic session in August. Currently 20 seats.
“Twenty seats will be in the main VCRC campus and there is a campus in Patna with 20 seats, the Dibrugarh institute will have eight seats and the centers at Gorakhpur and Jabalpur will have 10 seats each. The manpower employed by most of the civil agencies for vector control measures does not really consist of entomologists, but it is absolutely necessary to have at least one trained person to better assess the ground situation like susceptibility, breeding environment, vectors etc. May be suitable for increased disease transmission. VCRC director Ashwani Kumar said the measures will be successful only if they are driven by well-trained people.
The need for public health entomology is the need of the hour to successfully tackle emerging and re-emerging pathogen-borne diseases not only at the regional level but also at the global level. The idea behind the move is to strengthen the capacity of public health entomologists towards the World Health Organization’s global vector control response.
Apart from ICMR-VCRC, other institutes where the course is offered are Regional Medical Research Centre, Dibrugarh, Assam; Regional Medical Research Institute, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh; National Research Institute at Tribal Heath, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh; and Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Science, Patna, Bihar.
This course is affiliated to Pondicherry University.
Interestingly, to attract talent, the administration is offering a stipend ₹20,000 per selected candidate.
“The selection will be through an all-India written test; And we plan to use our senior advisors in teaching. As per the scheme, senior consultants will virtually take lectures,” said ICMR-VCRC Director Ashwani Kumar.