'Mosquito museum' is one of the oldest and largest museum in India situated in National Institute of Communicable diseases. The museum has a huge collection of 100,000 mosquitoes, plague-hit rats, guinea worms and wild birds infected with Japanese Encephalitis. The museum is the oldest and largest such collection in South and Southeast Asia, formally set up in 1938 and still used in fighting killer disease outbreaks. Scientists and researchers from all over the world come here to study these neatly catalogued insects, delicately pinned down in glass-topped wooden trays. Many of them have been responsible for millions of deaths across South-Southeast Asia.
The museum has a huge collection of all mosquitoes and is a great source of information for government officials and scientists. The museum acts as an Mosquito reference centre in which the scientists who have collected mosquito samples from other regions match with the reference mosquito strain to confirm the taxonomical identity. If a disease-triggering mosquito is matched, the government is warned of the possible risks of going ahead with the project.
Dr. Nand Lal Kalra is the former in charge of the museum and is a scientist who has worked in the exploration of different species of mosquito which is responsible for causing high malaria deaths in India. India has faced huge epidemics and death due to malaria, in which 30,000 people were killed in 1918 in Northern Amristar. Malaria epidemic has killed more than 10,000 people between 1993 and 2003. Though the deaths related to malaria has dramatically reduced but still a lot has to be done. There is also threat of evolution occurring in mosquitoes as more than 4-5 species of malaria has developed and we can also see increased resistance shown by these mosquitoes against anti-malarial agents.
Mr. Alok Mukhopadhyay, Head of Voluntary Health Association of India said, 'Most health and sanitation services are restricted to urban areas while remote pockets are left out and finances are also a problem and we have found that in most cases, money is diverted away from health programs.'
For Information on Malaria in Medindia:
Malaria is usually caused by a mosquito bite and the parasite microbe is passed from the mosquito to the blood through a sharp hypoderme needle like sting. The plasmodium is transmitted by transfusion of infected blood.