Poor response to MPCs due to lack of awareness

Last Updated: Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 13:04

New Delhi: The Mosquito Proof Cooler
(MPC), developed by the National Centre for Disease Control
for keeping vector-borne diseases at bay, is not getting
adequate response from the masses due to lack of awareness.

The environment-friendly MPC was developed in 2007 as
"a better option" as compared to conventional coolers that are
a favoured breeding place for the deadly Aedes mosquito which
spreads diseases like dengue and chikungunya.

"Only 300 such coolers have been sold across the
country. Masses are not aware about the existence of such
coolers. State government and their civic agencies are both
responsible for spreading this awareness. We are here for
commercialising the technology and not spreading awareness," S
K Gupta, manager, Engineering Sciences, NRDC said.

According to Dr T G Thomas, joint director NCDC who
developed this cooler, MPC looks like any other conventional
cooler with only little modifications in its water tanks.

"Unlike the conventional coolers, MPC has a metallic
sheet that has been put above the water tank inside the cooler
which covers it completely to prevent mosquitoes from entering
and breeding there," he said.

While conventional coolers require regular cleaning to
check for mosquito larvae breeding, MPC needs a clean-up only
once in three months as it does not have a single hole for
vectors to get through. It has a modified water tank and water
inlet to take care of water problems.

Moreover, it will not require water to be filled every
day as is done in a conventional cooler because stored water
inside the cooler does not evaporate, he said.

"This cooler is environment friendly as there is no
need to sprinkle harmful chemicals in its water tank to stop
mosquito breeding," Dr Thomas said.

This year, over 20,000 cases of diseases caused by
mosquitoes were reported with 82 deaths across the country.
Over 5,000 cases among them were from Delhi.

According to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, 70
per cent of mosquito breeding in Delhi has been found in
coolers.

"The MPC undoubtedly is a better option over the much
used older pattern. But it is expensive than the existing
pattern. It is not the MCD but the Directorate of National
Vector Borne Disease Control Programme and the Delhi
government who should advocate about the benefits of using it
to the Masses," an MCD official said.

Dr Thomas said, "The expense is nothing huge. A simple
modification of the existing cooler is enough. The cost will
be less than the challan amount paid by the masses when
mosquito breeding is found in their houses."

"We have written to all the state governments about
the MPC and the advantage of using it. The state government
has to take action through its civic bodies," an NVBDCP
official said.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 13:04

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