All of us have heard about weather forecast.
But have you ever heard about malaria outbreak forecast?
According to reports, NASA is developing a new technique which will forecast malaria outbreaks in Myanmar from space.
It is expected that the forecast will help the authorities concerned to take necessary steps before spread of the deadly disease to unaffected areas.
As per World Health Organisation (WHO) figures, in Myanmar, the malaria cases and deaths have come down by over 90 pc in between 2010 and 2017 due to use of treated bed nets.
But despite this achievement in fighting malaria, Myanmar still has higher prevalence than other neighbours in the Mekong region.
Not only Myanmar, the new technique will also help eradicate the disease in other parts of the globe including Northeast India where several malaria deaths are reported every year.
In India, due to massive malaria control measures being taken in the country, the number of malaria cases has reduced from about 1.9 million in 2004 to 1.1 million in 2014.
The Union Health Ministry of India seeks to achieve zero domestic cases and deaths by 2024, interrupt all domestic transmission of malaria by 2027 and maintain a malaria-free status across India by 2030.
A report released in The Lancet stated that the goal of malaria eradication in the world within a generation by 2050 is “bold and attainable”.
A media report quoted scientist Tatiana Loboda as informing a global news agency that to tackle malaria outbreaks before they happen, the NASA is deploying “cutting edge” spatial technology.
Loboda, a professor at Maryland University also reportedly said “a lot of people use a little spatial modeling…but not to the same depth and capabilities as we’re doing here”.
The satellites provide meterological data.
The data include atmospheric water content, land surface temperatures and information about land cover, including water, settlements and shrubland, say reports.
The project has entered the third year.
Loboda’s team of Maryland University continues to work closely with the local government and the military scientists and has been collecting data both from the troops and civilians.