Published:  12:31 AM, 07 January 2019

Dengue outbreak and our authorities

According to the data provided by the Directorate General of Health Services, around 10,000 people were affected with Dengue in 2018 alone. While the number is a staggering figure, the authorities let-up in efforts to curb the outbreak of the disease have also caught us in deep concern.

This is the highest number of Dengue patients since its regular outbreak in Bangladesh from 2000. Another year has just started and it is too early to predict that Dengue cases would be similar or even more in number. But one point is sure, if the authorities do not come forward with sincere efforts, this mosquito-borne disease might be even dangerous.

To prevent Dengue, health ministry, city corporations and the authorities related to the government will have to take effective steps, including eradication of mosquitoes. But first of all, it needs to create awareness among the people. In this regard, the government should regularly campaign in the media about the causes and prevention of Dengue disease. Awareness at individual level can protect the people from mosquito-borne diseases.

Aedes mosquito is the carrier of Dengue and Chikungunya. Therefore, this mosquito breeding should be prevented, their breeding places should be destroyed, and protective measures should be taken at the earliest. This mosquito usually bites during the day. They lay eggs in clean and still water.

So, it should not be let water stagnate anywhere. It is necessary to keep eyes especially on the corners of the house and on the veranda so that water does not accumulate there. Cans of soft drinks, tin containers, tires, earthen pots, bottles, coconut shells or anything that can hold water should not be left scattered around the house.

Aedes mosquitoes are born in the water accumulated in these containers. Water, especially during this period, should not be conserved in the toilet bucket, drum, water tank or soil pits. In addition, all should sleep at least inside mosquito net and, if they can afford to, should spray mosquito repellent regularly before going to bed.

It makes us disappointed when we see the people in a large scale are not aware enough even if they see others around to suffer or die of these diseases. On an operation conducted in May last year by Dhaka South City Corporation in its areas, Aedes mosquito larva was detected from 11 out of 18 houses.

This incident proves that mosquito control activities of the City Corporation are not constantly effective and that the people are not much aware of Aedes mosquito. This is unexpected. To protect the residents of the capital from Dengue, the two city corporations of Dhaka will have to be more active in destroying Aedes mosquito. To this end, the government, health ministry, media and all other relevant organisations will have to work together.

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