Delhi steps up campaign against malaria, dengue

April 6th, 2011 - 8:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) Stepping up the campaign against vector borne diseases like malaria, dengue and chikungunya during the monsoon season, authorities Wednesday released a booklet on their its prevention and control.

Put together by the Heal Foundation, in association with the ministries of urban development and health and family welfare as well as the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the intervention module will be distributed initially to 100,000 households in the capital.

“In 2010, the cases of vector borne diseases like malaria, dengue and chikungunya were very high. It was more so in Delhi because of the flooding and the constructions at various Commonwealth Games sites. Hopefully this year, things will change,” Prithvi Raj Sawhney, mayor of Delhi, said at a conference on vector diseases.

According to Sawhney, 678 people died of malaria and 104 due to dengue across the country in 2010. Approximately 13,73,317 malaria cases and 27,196 dengue cases were recorded.

“This first draft of the intervention module will be distributed in 100,000 households in Delhi and, depending on their response, it will be improvised and distributed in the rest of the city. Then it may be upgraded and distributed in other parts of the country,” he added.

The booklet explains what malaria and dengue are, and answers frequently asked questions related to these diseases.

The booklet highlights that malaria is not contagious and that there are no vaccines for dengue fever.

“Preventing the spread of vector borne diseases is very simple. One just has to ensure that there is no stagnation of water - in water coolers, flower pots etc - and that water vessels like overhead tanks must be covered,” N.K. Yadav, health officer of the MCD, said.

“To prevent breeding, one can put two tablespoons of petrol or kerosene for each 100 litres of water. Usage of mosquito nets, repellants is also important,” he added.

V.M. Katoch, director of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said: “People know what is to be done to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes, but don’t implement them. Behavioural change doesn’t come easily. It is not a one-season campaign.”

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