The two day hands–on-training programme on the Molecular diagnosis of Dengue, JE and Chikungunya started in the department of Virology, PGI, and Chandigarh under the sponsorship of Director Health Services (VBD), Panchkula. The workshop is a part of the activity of the department as an Apex Referral Laboratory for the advanced diagnosis of dengue, JE and Chikungunya; being nominated by NVBDCP, GOI. The training of its kind started in the gracious presence of Dr. Satvir Chaudhary DHS (Malaria), and Dr.(Mrs.)Kamala Singh, (Director, IDSP). Dr. Chaudhary appraised the participants on the current problems on dengue, JE and Chikungunya in various districts of Haryana. Twenty five participants from 10 Sentinel Surveillance Hospitals (SSHs) of the State of Haryana are participating actively in the training programme. The Microbiologists/Pathologists and Laboratory technicians of SSHs are being given hands-on-exposure on the latest and most sensitive Molecular techniques like Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), multiplex PCR where clinically important viruses can be diagnosed like dengue, Japanese encephalitis and chikungunya. Even the types of dengue viruses and chikungunya can be identified in one go within shortest period with much accuracy by the technique known as multiplex PCR. During the post monsoon period between September to December, 2011, the department of Virology, PGIMER has received 1585 number of Dengue and more than 381 number of JE samples for diagnosis 152 Dengue (9.6 %) and 32 JE (8.4 %) cases were found to be positive. Majority of cases of Japanese encephalitis normally came from the rice bowel areas of Hayrana. For early and better diagnosis of the Vector bone Viral Diseases, the Government of India has created many Sentinel surveillance Hospitals (SSHs) within each state who with the active technical support from the Apex Referral Laboratory like Virology, PGI will be able to diagnose dengue/JE/Chikungunya infections.
Dr. Kalpana Baruah, Joint Director, NVBDCP discussed with the participants regarding the disease scenario in Punjab, Haryana and U.T. Chandigarh and strategies taken by Government of India to combat the problems. The training will facilitate the early detection of dengue, JE and chikungunya right in the periphery. All the participants highly appreciated the contents of the training and found it to be very useful.