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Natl Med J India. 2003 May-Jun;16(3):135-8.

Malaria control in a forest camp in an oil exploration area of Upper Assam.

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Regional Medical Research Centre, Northeast Region, Indian Council of Medical Research, Dibrugarh, Assam.



Assam, in north-east India, is extremely rich in hydrocarbon deposits and the oil industry is the major contributor to its economy. A large number of oil fields and related installations in Assam are located in forest areas or on their fringes where malaria is a serious problem among field staff and security personnel, adversely affecting oil production. We carried out an operational research study for one year in a forest-based industrial security camp of Dibrugarh district and developed an effective malaria control strategy for such areas.


The specific strategy was formulated and implemented after taking into account the local epidemiology of malaria, vector's ecology and malaria risk behaviour of the camp inmates. The strategy was based on reducing the man-vector contact, using deltamethrin-treated mosquito nets in conjunction with mosquito repellent cream and weekly chemoprophylaxis with 300 mg chloroquine. The impact of the strategy was monitored entomologically and epidemiologically for one year after implementation.


The mean landing rate of Anopheles dirus, the vector mosquito in the camp area, was 5.03 per person per night during the monitoring. In spite of such a high density of the vector, the man-vector contact was effectively checked by the intervention measures adopted. As a result, the incidence of malaria in the camp was reduced by > 90% as compared to previous years and the number of malaria cases came down from 6.7 per 1000 man-nights in 1998-99 to 0.06 in 2000-01. Mortality due to malaria was completely eliminated.


Control of malaria should be based on the local determinants of transmission. The use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets in conjunction with a mosquito repellent cream is a good intervention for controlling Anopheles dirus-transmitted malaria in the forests of north-east India. The control module developed on the principle of reducing man-mosquito contact is easy to implement, cost-effective and replicable in similar forest-based locations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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