Manipal, Dec 13, 2017: Dr P Ravindran, director, emergency medical relief (EMF), MoHFW, Government of India, at the inaugural of the annual review meet of ’Hospital-based Acute Febrile Illness (AFI) Surveillance in India’ at Manipal on Dec 12, Tuesday, specifically stated "Prevention, detection and response are the three cornerstones of good public health system,"
Dr Ravindran dwelt on the landmark findings of the AFI surveillance programme and spoke about change in the mindset of clinicians, public health officials and administrators especially with regard to diseases like influenza and scrub typhus. "In times gone by ’scrub typhus’ was regarded a disease found only in the foothills, but is now known to be present in all over the country," he said.
More than 50 government and national institution health officials and clinicians attended the meet. Manipal Centre for Virus Research (MCVR) initiated the project, with Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, US, and the Central and State Health Departments under the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), to generate evidence for public health action.
Dr Kayla Laserson, country director, CDC India, who stressing how the AFI surveillance project has confirmed seven main pathogens to cause most of the diagnosed acute febrile disease burden in India, said, "A few years ago we did not know the lab-confirmed geographic distribution of various pathogens in India. When Dr Arunkumar and Dr Ravi, presented the data collected from 52 sites across 12 states in India of more than 50,000 patients under the AFI surveillance project and its sister project of acute encephalitis syndrome surveillance at the American society of Tropical medicine and Hygiene, Baltimore, people listened."
Dr V Ravi, professor, Nimhans, Bengaluru, said, "Seven main pathogens have been found to contribute to most of the diagnosed acute febrile illnesses in India."
MAHE Pro Chancellor Dr H S Ballal said early detection helped most, if prevention was not possible, while highlighting the efforts of the AFI surveillance programme to make it possible to diagnose within 48 hours of sample collection, a vital requirement.