CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI), in collaboration with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), organised a training programme on non-POPs alternatives to DDT in the NEERI Auditorium on 10th October 2019. Dr. M.B. Ganvir, Assistant Director of Health Services (ADHS), Govt. of Maharashtra was the Chief Guest on this occasion.
Dr. R S Sharma, WHO Expert on Malaria Vector Control; Dr. L J Kanhekar, Ex. Joint Director, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC); Dr. Hemant Purohit, Senior Most Scientist, CSIR-NEERI; Dr. A N Vaidya, Head, Solid & Hazardous Waste Management Division, CSIR-NEERI; Dr. A Ramesh Kumar, Scientist, CSIR-NEERI; and Dr. Jitendra Sharma, UNEP India, were also present on this occasion.
While addressing the participants, Dr. Ganvir informed that the cases of malaria have drastically been declined in Maharashtra. In 2015, 56603 cases of malaria were reported which have been declined to 6183 in 2019, he added.
He expressed concern over increasing cases of dengue and Chikungunya in Maharashtra. He stated that Maharashtra has already taken the initiative to substitute DDT for vector control. He assured to extend cooperation to CSIR-NEERI for preparing training modules on non-POPs alternatives to DDT in vector control. Dr. Sharma gave an overview of major disease vectors and their biology.
Dr. Kanhekar said that biological methods for vector control are more effective than the chemical ones. We need more economical and sustainable comprehensive system to control two or more vector-borne diseases, he added. Dr. Vaidya said that Neem coils, Neem larvicide could be potential non-POPs alternatives to DDT.
Ms. Shenoy defined the role of UNEP and its efforts to introduce bio- and botanical pesticides and other locally appropriate cost-effective and sustainable alternatives to DDT as first step for reduction and eventual elimination of dependency on DDT, ensuring food safety, enhancing livelihood and protecting human health and the environment.
Er. Sushant Wath, Sr. Scientist, CSIR-NEERI briefed about an environment-friendly prototype (machine) being developed for mosquito killing. Earlier, in his welcome address, Dr. Purohit briefed about the training programme and role of CSIR-NEERI to provide training to various stakeholders involved in the application of DDT and its alternatives. Dr. A Ramesh Kumar conducted the proceedings. The Health Officers from Maharashtra also gave valuable suggestions for preparing various training modules to apply sustainable alternatives to DDT, as Maharashtra has already taken many initiatives.
An exhibition on non-POPs alternatives to DDT was also organised on this occasion.