Threat by vector-borne diseases discussed at AAU event

To mark the golden jubilee year of the Assam Agricultural University (AAU), the Department of Veterinary Public Health, College of Veterinary Science (CVSc), AAU, Khanapara, in collaboration with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Uppsala University and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, organised a four-day workshop on veterinary and medical entomology and molecular methods for diagnostics at CVSc.

Altogether 26 individuals, including four resource persons, from different organisations took part in the workshop. The event intended to bring together scientists, teachers and professionals on a common platform for scientific deliberations, interactions and practical demonstrations on research in areas of arboviral zoonotic diseases with special reference to Japanese encephalitis (JE) and west nile virus in order to develop an effective liaison between academic and research bodies.

AAU Vice Chancellor Dr KM Bujarbaruah in his inaugural speech referred to the alarming situation created by vector-borne diseases in Assam and other NE states. He pointed out that around 17 per cent of all infectious diseases are vector-borne and loss of 7 lakh lives every year has been due to these diseases. He expressed concern at the current JE scenario in the State. He stressed the need for controlling vectors, capacity building and competitiveness through improved infrastructure, by enhancing the facilities for monitoring and surveillance of such diseases and above all, by bringing about sensitisation among the people.

In his welcome address, Dr BN Saikia, Dean, Faculty of Veterinary Science, AAU, stated that vector-borne diseases are of prime concern to the people of Assam and North East India.

Dr Johanna Lindahl, scientist, ILRI, laid emphasis on collaboration both across and within the border with multidisciplinary approaches. She opined that one should think out of the box and find out what strategic research and innovative ideas are needed to address the diseases that are posing a threat to the health of humans and animals as well as the economy of the nation.

Dr RA Hazarika, Professor & Head, Department of Veterinary Public Health, CVSc, AAU, hoped for a successful mission together with multidisciplinary collaborative approaches for executing the gain acquiring through the workshop.

At the valedictory session Dr A Chakraborty, OSD to the VC, AAU expressed satisfaction with the issues of vector-borne diseases discussed at the workshop. He said that through research and training in collaboration with universities and other organisations from abroad, veterinary and medical institutes in the State including experts from AAU can help evolve a solution to reduce the burden of vector-borne diseases in the State.

See the original post on the Assam Tribune newspaper.