BTI made in Sri Lanka and dengue epidemic

(July 13, 2010, Colombo - Lanka PolitySri Lanka's Sinhala daily The Divaina newspaper reported today that 1073 dengue patients were diagnosed island wide during the week from July 02 to 09 and four of them died. The number of deaths caused by dengue so far this year is 140.

The Ministry of Health seems totally incapable to arrest the outbreak. The only practical programme they appear to have is the door-to-door visits of the public health officials that warn or punish the public for not keeping their environment clean.

But their power ends near the nose tip of the local government bodies and other state institutes that are responsible for many a case of spreading mosquito-borne diseases. The government has entirely failed to provide basic services such as proper garbage disposal and drainage etc. efficiently to the tax payers.

On the other hand, the public health officials are helpless in giving instructions to prevent mosquito breeding in water stagnating places like fallen dried banana leaves and the inner edge of pineapple leaves.

Meanwhile, Industrial Technology Institute says the BTI (bacteria) produced locally by the institute will be released to the market by the end of July. The news came as the dengue outbreak has caused increase of deaths in the mosquito-borne disease.

The Pesticides Registration Bureau granted permission to the bacteria last week.

Bio Power Lanka company that was contracted to produce the bacteria by the Industrial Technology Institute will release 10,000 to 15,000 liters to the market at the initial stage. The company has capacity to produce the same amount annually, the Industrial Technology Institute says.

The bacteria is in 50, 100 and 200 ml bottles at a concessionary price, the Industrial Technology Institute says.

Bio Power Lanka is licensed to produce the bacteria for five years. We found in Likedin that a person called Kumar.V Deivanayagam the owner of Bio Power Lanka.

The website of Biopower Lanka says, 'Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis variety israelensis) is a bacterial toxin that infects and kills mosquito larvae. It is safe and environmentally sound because it is highly selective, killing mosquitoes and black flies. Bti contains no poisonous chemicals and is completely harmless to other living things!

Compared to harmful synthetic insecticides, Bti kills larvae quickly and efficiently. A moderate to heavy dose has been shown to reduce the mosquito population by one half in 15 minutes and the rest within one hour.
The major advantage is that Bt is essentially nontoxic to people, pets and wildlife. This high margin of safety recommends its use in sensitive sites where pesticide use can cause adverse effects.'

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