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Dengue outbreak also likely this year, experts say

DNCC begins mosquito control drive

Published : Wednesday, 8 January, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 279
Banani Mallick

A massive outbreak of mosquito-borne disease dengue may occur this year in Dhaka if urgent measures are not taken right now to control Aedes mosquitoes, experts have warned.
"The whole Dhaka city is a hot spot for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes move from one place to another, so a mosquito-free area can very easily be invaded by the insects," said Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora, Director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDC
However, Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Chief Health Officer Brig Gen Mominur Rahman thinks that people's engagement is very important for preventing such dengue outbreak.
"It will not be possible to control dengue outbreak despite taking various measures by the DNCC officials, government and various ministries unless we receive huge public engagement in this drive," he said while talking to the Daily Observer on Tuesday.
When asked about the ways to control the Culex and Aedes mosquitoes, DNCC senior official said that public engagement is very important to control mosquitos in Dhaka city.
People should be aware of personal hygiene. If they practice it then we can prevent dengue outbreak very easily, he added.
Asked about the ongoing actions of DNCC, he said that they have begun mosquito control activities from January 1.
"We expect the severity of dengue experienced last year will not be repeated this year and we seek overall cooperation to this end."
Many epidemiologists and entomologists said that dengue will remain unconquered if it is not approached systematically.
They urged the government to identify proper insecticides and preserve it so that they could use when it requires to fight against Aedes mosquitoes.  
Annually, three mosquito surveys were carried out by the Communicable Disease Control (CDC) unit and DGHS (Directorate General of Health Services) in the capital and latest one was carried out from 17 to 27 December 2019.
Prof Dr Sania Tahmina, Director of Disease Control Unit of Directorate General of Health Services, said that the number of larvae found this time of the year has been less than the preceding year.
Asked if such less number of larvae shows any sign of relief, responding to this query she said that situation can change any time until different measures are not taken on proper time.
Of them people's engagement and their individual role is very important to control the Culex and Aedes mosquitoes. She also noted that more funds are needed to limiting dengue outbreak and several ministries including Ministry of Public Works, environment department and law enforcing agencies should work together.
"From now they should work together by taking proper actions as dengue has not yet hit the hardest," she said.
Mohammad Shafiul Alam, a researcher at the International Center for Diarrhoea Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), who conducted a survey, said they found mosquitoes in Dhaka resistant to Permethrin, a potent pesticide.

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