No end to mosquito menace in Dhaka

With the winter nearing end, mosquito menace has taken a sharp rise in Dhaka with an apprehension of deteriorating dengue situation this time. Insectologists have warned of relatively more spreading of dengue and Chikungunya cases this year as the authorities are not doing enough to fight the mosquito population.

“We have been conducting research on mosquitoes in Dhaka since January 1 and detected both Culex and Aedes mosquitoes,” said Professor Kabirul Bashar. “We have split Dhaka city into six parts… and found more density in Aedes mosquito population in comparison with the preceding year’s ratio,” added Kabirul, who teaches Zoology at Jahangirnagar University.

Officials at both city corporations, however, said they launched drives to combat mosquitoes at the beginning of this year and reinforced the moves late February. “We started mosquito-killing operation by the first week of January,” said Bridger General Sharif Ahmed, chief health officer of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC).

“On February 24, we received a report of the health ministry that identified as many as six DSCC wards– ward no. 5, 6, 11, 17, 37, and 42 – as risky for breeding Aedes mosquito”, he added. On the next day, the DSCC launched a special crush progamme at these wards, said Ahmed adding that routine works are being carried out at other 75 wards.

A resident from the capital’s Paltan area said that mosquito population seems to increase more and more that would multiply by thousand folds in rainy season. “Mosquitoes keep biting most of the time as city corporations’ drives often go ineffective,” said an owner of a tea stall from DSCC’s ward no 68.

The Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) yesterday began a special crush programme and awareness campaign to fight the mosquitoes. With a slogan of “Control Aedes mosquitoes, live free from dengue and Chikungunya,” DNCC Chief Health Officer Bridger General Md Mominur Rahman Manum opened the programme in the capital’s Mirpur.

The health ministry’s report has marked as many as five DNCC wards risky due to mosquito breeding – ward no. 1, 12, 16, 20 and 31. Yesterday’s crush progamme was a part of DNCC’s drives for the risk wards in addition to its regular mosquito-killing operations. Addressing the function, Mamun said, “Don’t dump wastes here and there. Don’t keep water-filled anywhere.”

The DNCC official urged the city dwellers to be aware and keep their residences clean so that no mosquito menace that causes disease like dengue can disrupt the government’s yearlong progamme to celebrate the Mujb Year. Prof Kabirul, however, called for reinforcing more effective measures, otherwise rise in dengue cases would not stop.

“As Aedes mosquitoes are found more in densely populated areas in January-February this year so does the rise in dengue patients during this period,” said Kabirul.