Reducing Vulnerability to the Threat of Japanese Encephalitis in Nepal

Japanese Encephalitis (JE) virus is the leading cause of viral encephalitis in Asia. This mosquito-transmitted disease has spread over the last 20 years, putting more than 3 billion people in South and Southeast Asia at risk. Intensification of rice and pig farming has increased the number of suitable habitats and hosts for the virus, while climate change is expanding the geographic range of the mosquito vector. The disease disproportionately affects the poor and children.

In Nepal, the population at risk is estimated at 12.5 million. Between 1 000 and 3 000 human cases are reported annually, of which a third are likely to suffer often-fatal complications. The government of Nepal is struggling to develop a comprehensive national plan for addressing JE. However, vaccines are not consistently available in the country and the most vulnerable people have little or no knowledge of the disease or possible preventive measures.

This project aims to fill important gaps in knowledge concerning the JE risk in Nepal. Researchers will identify the environmental and social determinants of JE risk in different ecosystems using three types of study: spatial-temporal analysis of secondary data; a cross-sectional study in four communities; and a case-control study of hospital patients. The project is expected to supply needed evidence to inform prevention and control policies, including content for educational programs and strategies to mobilize public health, animal health and community planning resources for reducing situations that favour the disease.

Project ID

106739

Project status

Closed

Start Date

Friday, August 26, 2011

End Date

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Duration

36 months

IDRC Officer

Beeche, Arlyne

Total funding

CA$ 509,050

Countries

Nepal, Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia

Program

Food, Environment, and Health

Project Leader

Dr. Craig Stephen

Institution

Centre for Coastal Health Society

Institution Country

Canada

Institution Website

http://www.centreforcoastalhealth.ca/

Project Leader

Dr. P. R. Bista

Institution

National Zoonoses and Food Hygiene Research Centre

Institution Country

Nepal