Unplanned urbanization devil behind dengue spread

DS Sourav

Unplanned urbanization in Dhaka city is one of the key reasons behind the pervasiveness of dengue fever on a large scale. A variety of diseases, including Dengue and Chikungunya are spreading from water, mostly stagnant water logged in under-construction buildings, near garbage stacks and large project areas.

Besides, climate change is also causing various diseases, including dengue. Dengue, which is now widely spread, is having a huge negative impact on Bangladesh's economy, social and health sector experts warned. Dean of the Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Dr. A. S. M. Maksud Kamal at the University of Dhaka told Bangladesh Post, “unplanned urbanization helped the spawning of aedes larvae. These mosquitoes are born and spread in large numbers only because we are not properly aware. ”

According to a recent research study done to identify the preferred breeding sites of dengue mosquitoes in India, dengue mosquitoes choose to breed in tires, barrels, plastic drums and jerry cans. But there are various other indoor and outdoor breeding sites for the Aedes mosquitoes. Unplanned urbanization can cause many problems, and the sufferings we face nowadays in Dhaka city, you can say have been caused by unplanned urbanization. In the case of Dengue it may have contributed to the outbreak on a large scale, he added.

Dr. M. Shafiq-Ur Rahman Professor of Department of Urban & Regional Planning at the Jahangirnagar University told Bangladesh Post, “We can say unplanned urbanization caused dengue, but this is not the prime reason behind dengue outbreak from a microscale.” Sewerage system, rooftop logged water, and water in flower pots are suitable places for the Aedes larvae to breed. Say for example Uttara, Dhamondi are well planned areas, but Dengue infection is also there, so we cannot completely say unplanned urbanization has caused this outcome, Dr. M. Shafiq-Ur Rahman added.

This information has been highlighted in various international media reports on the dengue situation in Bangladesh. In some international media, the dengue situation in Bangladesh has been referred to as an epidemic. The news quoted the World Health Organization (WHO) as saying that the dengue situation in Bangladesh is worrisome and if the situation continues in this way it will turn into an epidemic.

The slightest rainfall in different areas of Dhaka creates waterlogging and it takes up to several days for the water to be drained or dried up. According to the Health Department data, as of July 24 this year, 8,556 people were infected with dengue. Last year, the number of dengue cases was 7,450 In July this year, 6,421 people were infected with dengue, five times higher than the number last year. Many are comparing it to epidemic. So far, the death toll has been estimated to be much higher than the actual number of dengue patients.

Until 2000, there were records of some dengue outbreaks in Dhaka. Dengue became widespread in 25 years. That year 5,551 people were infected, of whom 93 died. Then there have been occurrences of dengue outbreaks almost every year. Like in many other countries, the dengue fever virus has survived in Bangladesh in a favorable environment. At present, dengue is spreading in many countries on all continents except for Europe. Its prevalence is especially high in monsoon and monsoon winds. A state alert has been issued in the Philippines this year after 456 people died.

After the dengue epidemic in 1779, the first epidemic spread in 1780 to Asia and Africa and North America. The history of dengue disease and its spread has been said to be more prone to spread in unplanned urban areas where there is no proper water, sewage and waste management. According to the Chinese Medical Encyclopedia, the first dengue patient was probably found in that country between 265 and 420 AD. There is information on the spread of poisonous water and a type of disease at that time through flying insects.