Mosquitoes droning menacingly in Dhaka Bangladesh

THE city dwellers, struggling hard to overcome the impact of the floods, now find themselves pitted against mosquitoes. As the water recedes, city drains, ponds, and canals have become ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes, the carriers of dengue and malaria.

Dengue is spreading fast, though the fatality rate is comparatively low this year. The number of dengue patients seeking admission to city hospitals every day is over 40 on average. The situation will worsen if the Aedes mosquito continues to have a field-day. The same is true about the mosquito which causes malaria, a particularly virulent type which seems prevalent in the metropolis now. The city has marshy areas measuring over 2,000 acres, and floods spread over these areas, especially in the low-lying localities. The residents of these places are highly vulnerable to the day-and-night incursion of a rapidly growing mosquito infestation.

>The DCC officials have claimed that their anti-mosquito drive is very much on and also that further arrangements are being made to intensify the drive. But the ground reality is that people are suffering due to an unbridled growth of mosquito population.

The detection of malaria patients in the city has to be taken seriously as the disease was believed to have been confined to the hilly regions. Obviously, spread of malaria, if that is what the patients have contracted, may pose a grave threat to public health. Elimination of the deadly mosquitoes is the solution to this problem. But it seems the public health planners and the DCC have not yet realised that they have to act before it is too late. That they are not in control of the situation is proved by the fact that though dengue broke out in the city a few weeks back, the mosquito demolition squads of the DCC have not yet been fully activated. They cannot expect to contain the menace by launching irregular drives in some select places.

Dengue and malaria are no imaginary threats. The DCC and the health ministry should swing into action to take the sting out of them (Editorial, Daily Star,August 5, 2004).

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