Massive programme to control dengue

The Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) has decided to continue different programmes all the year round in a coordinated way to control mosquito-borne disease dengue. Apart from forming special governing body and rapid action team, the corporation has scale up survey, evaluation and research capability to control aedes mosquito.

This year, two city corporations in could not control aedes mosquito by fogging, larviciding and even releasing guppy fish in drains and ponds. The aedes mosquito borne dengue fever had taken serious turn in the month of July and August, broke all the previous record in the history of the country. Although the two mayors of Dhaka did not directly acknowledge their failure to prevent aedes mosquito, they had to face public criticism.

According to the recent report of Emergency Operation Center and Control Room of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), about 87,605 people with dengue infection were admitted at different hospitals in the country till Sunday (September 29), whereas most of the patients were from Dhaka. Besides, about 1,577 dengue patients were undergoing treatment on Sunday at different public and private hospitals in the county.

DNCC and the Dhaka South City Corporation faced severe criticism for their failure to prevent a massive outbreak of dengue, which has claimed 81 lives so far till September 29, according to official data. Experts said that there is a problem in the controlling system of aedes mosquito. Ordinary method of controlling mosquito does not work in controlling aedes mosquito, as its life cycle is different from other mosquitos, they added.

Keeping these issues in mind, the DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam has launched a crash programme to prevent breeding of mosquito. The crash programme includes— conduct meeting in every three months in presence of Mayor which will be organised by special governing body to prevent dengue, ward-based cleanliness drive in every week to destroy breeding grounds of mosquito, mosquito larvae control programme in coordination with entomologists and health officers.

Besides, awareness building programme regarding dengue has also been given priority in the crash programme. DNCC sources said, besides 270 permanent mosquito controlling workers, about 1,620 workers (30 workers in each ward) have been working six days [except Fridays] in a week to destroy the breeding grounds of mosquito. DNCC’s regional executive officers are monitoring these activities.

The monitoring cell also has been formed to monitor and check the survey reports of patients. To keep dengue cases in check, on September 15, DNCC started 2nd Phase combing operation to eradicate mosquito, which is also going on. According to DNCC sources, the DNCC mosquito control teams inspected about 130,488 households till September 26, of those, they found aedes mosquito larvae in 284 houses. Moreover, they found aedes mosquito favorable breeding grounds in 75,304 houses in 12 days.

Moreover, DNCC has increased its mosquito-controlling budget about three times compared to previous year. DNCC has allocated Tk 49.3 crore for mosquito eradication programmes in its proposed budget for the 2019-20 financial year. In fiscal year 2018-19, the revised budget for mosquito control was Tk 17.5 crore.

Asked about this, DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam said, “During the election campaign, I promised to control mosquitoes, manage sustainable waste, reduce waterlogging, ensure service in digital method, modernise city and develop city roads. I have made a yearlong plan to implement these. In the meantime, the combing operation has begun while rest will begin very soon.”

AFM Jamal Uddin, Professor of Horticultural of Bangladesh Agricultural University, said, “Mosquito controlling is not possible only by spraying pesticides. The natural balance needed to control dengue mosquitoes.” He also said, “The method of releasing guppy fish in city drains were not successful for various reasons. The people will not face dire situation like this year, if the corporation can fully implement the plans.