Malaria is one of the deadliest diseases of our times. Scientists and the malarial parasites have been fighting for a long time now. However the areas which are remote and out of the world’s eye for the most part are more distant from the medicines and such areas make the scientists sit tight and get all ready for battle over again. One of such newly introduced technologies that assist the great minds in curbing malaria is the Drone Technology.
Drone technologies have not always been associated with good news for they raised numerous security concerns in the days left behind. Now these weapons of destruction are being used for a good purpose and the remote areas of south-east Asia can back that up.
Researchers based on Borneo island, Malaysia are trying to draw a map of the areas which have been most severely affected by Plasmodium knowlesi, a malarial parasite. For this they have used the help of the flying drones. This malarial parasite targets the macaque monkeys first. These monkeys, then spread this deadly disease to humans via carrier mosquitoes. The malarial parasite needs two hosts to complete its life cycle. The macaque monkeys and later the affected humans act as the hosts.
Recently there has been a jump in such malarial cases and researchers are trying to find a reason for it. For this they use a small drone which is fully equipped with camera and sensors. This drone is called senseFly and helps in creating a digital map of the whole landscape, including the hills, forests, vegetations, which surround the communities which have been known to be affected by Plasmodium Knowlesi.
The digital map created by using the drones is very detailed and can be superimposed with the different movements of the humans and macaques. To further assist the scientists in achieving their task with perfection, locals are requested to carry with them a GPS tracking device. Also, the macaque monkeys are strapped with GPS collars which helps in tracking their movements.
The first aim of these scientists is to figure out the point of contact between the humans and the macaque monkeys. These drones will identify the areas which draw both the humans and the monkeys together. They would further study on these areas to guess the reason for this behaviour. The scientists believe that if they lessen the contact between the humans and the monkeys, then they might be able to control the number of the affected for starters. This would give them more time to look into this matter further and come up with a medicine that would be truly effective.
Many a times a whole family is affected by Plasmodium knowlesi parasite. In areas such as the remote corners of Malaysia this can wipe out the whole family and therefore there is an urgent need to win over this issue. The job that the scientists have undertaken is to identify and then eradicate this malarial parasite completely from its root and help even the remotest areas of the world with this new age technology.