It is worrying to learn that like previous years, mosquito-borne disease dengue might strike with its full virulence this year too amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic crisis.
Experts raised the alarm saying the country witnessed the worst-ever dengue situation last year and that the authorities should take preventive measures right away to avoid a repeat of such an outbreak. It is apprehended that that city dwellers will witness a worse dengue outbreak in July-August this year.
The dengue hazard could not have come at a worst time. Continuing the fight against the deadly COVID-19 and coping with a creeping dengue appear to pose a dual challenge to our health sector.
We understand that compared to the havoc now being wreaked by the coronavirus across the world, dengue is a minor health problem. But in Bangladesh it could be a devastating problem if necessary awareness-building programmes are not launched imminently.
Continuing the fight against the deadly COVID-19 and
coping with a creeping dengue appear to pose a dual
challenge to our health sector
Aedes mosquitoes thrive in areas with stagnant water in puddles, water tanks, containers and old tyres. Lack of reliable sanitation and garbage collection also contributes to the spread of dengue. So, at the household level, people need to be aware of these issues and keep their houses clean.
The best way to prevent the disease from spreading in settlements is to remove waterlogged areas, keep the settlements always clean, properly dump bio-degradable garbage away from human settlements and use insecticide-treated mosquito nets. These are not difficult tasks. Proper hygiene and sanitation can prevent the spread of this deadly disease.
It needs no emphasising that amid the countrywide lockdown to curb transmission of coronavirus, the danger and irritation posed by mosquitoes have been ignored in both Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC).
City corporation authorities should deploy expert teams to visit dengue-prone areas in the city and inform people about how to destroy all potential mosquito-breeding sites. Also the health workers of the two city corporations should be provided with necessary protective gears.