Although the 2017 recommendations were to be implemented in 2019, no initiative has been taken yet :: Health Department has not implemented its own recommendation of ‘Seasonal Aedes Survey 2021’ :: No effective initiative by the Health Department or any other department to control larvae : Expert opinion
While the coronavirus is ‘invisible’, the Aedes mosquito that spreads dengue fever is visible. Lockdown, social distancing, use of masks and use of hand-sanitizer are required to prevent the spread of coronavirus. But to prevent dengue fever, killing the larvae is enough to prevent the spread of Aedes mosquitoes. According to the researchers, Aedes mosquitoes breed if there is water accumulated in flower tubs of houses, smelly water from rotten drains, garbage, tin shells and waste water accumulated in various pits and abandoned structures. While it is difficult to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, it is very easy to prevent the spread of the Aedes mosquito. Aedes mosquitoes cannot spread if only the owners and residents of the capital city of Dhaka keep their buildings clean and tidy. At some point, the dengue-carrying Aedes mosquito will be eradicated. However, even though they keep their cleanliness and their bedding sparkling, they are keeping the surrounding environment unclean. On the other hand, although the officials of Dhaka North and Dhaka South City Corporations give ‘cannon firing’ speeches to kill mosquitoes every day, Aedes mosquitoes are still spreading. As a result dengue fever is spreading all over the country including the capital Dhaka.
Experts say that city corporations should not be relied upon to kill Aedes mosquitoes. As citizens, we have some responsibilities. Everyone should be aware. If everyone does not keep their house and its surroundings clean, then mosquitoes will breed. The survey was conducted at 100 locations in 98 wards of the two cities. Out of which, 41 areas in the north and 59 areas in the south are identified with more Aedes mosquitoes in the survey. But it was not seen that much awareness among the residents of those areas. Had they kept their surroundings clean, the Aedes mosquito would not have increased so much.
After investigation, it is known that the two city corporations of the capital Dhaka raided the houses of Aedes mosquitoes and sprayed drugs to kill mosquitoes. Homeowners are fined for finding mosquito larvae. Even a reward was announced for submission of ‘Daber Khosa’ to the City Corporation to kill Aedes mosquito larvae. A pictorial report of that activity was published in the media. But the Aedes mosquito continues to proliferate unabated. In 2019, dengue fever took a terrible form in the country. At that time, Aedes mosquito extermination program was taken, but it did not get any benefit. There are even allegations of hawking ‘fake and expired’ acid mosquito repellents. Not only this, in 2017, the World Health Organization sent its pathologist K Krishnamurthy to Dhaka to advise the Ministry of Health on Aedes mosquito control. At that time a 22-page plan document titled ‘Midterm Plan for Controlling and Preventing Addisborne Dengue and Chikungunya in Bangladesh’ was prepared. The plan was supposed to be implemented by 2019, but it has not been implemented so far.
A record number of 438 dengue fever patients have been admitted to hospital in the country in the last 24 hours, which is the highest in the last few months, the health department said. In total, the number of dengue fever patients admitted in different hospitals of the country has reached 1560.
Kabirul Bashar, Professor of Zoology Department of Jahangirnagar University and entomologist, said about acid mosquitoes in the capital, when the rains start, the density of Aedes mosquitoes increases. If the density of Aedes mosquitoes increases, the dengue situation may worsen. Therefore, Aedes mosquito control operation should be started now. Also, it is important to undertake public awareness activities to involve the people in Aedes mosquito control. Along with the city corporation, people also have to come forward to eliminate Aedes mosquitoes.
According to the regular dengue report of the Health Emergency Operation Center and Control Room of the Department of Health on Tuesday, 315 of the 438 people who were newly admitted to the hospital due to dengue are residents of Dhaka. 123 people were admitted to hospital outside Dhaka. In total, 1 thousand 191 people are currently admitted in various hospitals in Dhaka. And 369 people are admitted in hospitals outside Dhaka. So far this year, the death toll from dengue has reached 45.
Dengue fever cases are reported in several other districts outside the capital Dhaka. Entomologists say, since 2000, many people are getting infected with dengue fever every year, people are also dying. In 2019, the dengue epidemic took a terrible form. More than 100,000 people were hospitalized for dengue fever. However, the incidence of dengue was low in 2020, the year the corona epidemic began. But last year, 28 thousand 429 people were admitted to the hospital due to dengue fever. 105 of them died.
It is known that in 2017, the World Health Organization sent pathologist Krishnamurthy to Dhaka to advise the Ministry of Health in view of the increase in the incidence of dengue in Dhaka city. Talking to government officials, scientists and researchers, K Krishnamurthy prepared a 22-page plan document titled ‘Midterm Plan for Controlling and Preventing Addisborne Dengue and Chikungunya in Bangladesh’. The document recommends the formation of a ‘rapid response team’ comprising epidemiologists, entomologists, microbiologists, information-education-communication specialists and media personnel to evaluate dengue and chikungunya disease prevention and control programmes. 12 Ministries are asked to join the work of Ministry of Health. The plan was to be implemented by 2019. But not implemented yet.
Professor Benazir Ahmed, a public health expert and former director of the government’s disease control wing, said that the incidence of dengue is increasing and decreasing uncontrollably. From this it is proved that there is no effective nationwide initiative of the health department or any other department to control dengue. In this regard, none of the recommendations or advice given by local and foreign experts in the past has been implemented.
Two surveys were conducted to find out the causes of Aedes mosquito prevalence and dengue disease in the capital Dhaka. Last February, Jahangirnagar University Zoology Department teacher Dr. A study was published under the leadership of Kabirul Bashar. The other is done under the supervision of the Department of Health. The results of the survey conducted by the Department of Health were published on August 22 last year. According to the Department of Health’s ‘Seasonal Aedes Survey 2021’, the density of Aedes mosquito larvae is high in several areas of the two City Corporations of Dhaka. The highest ‘gross index’ is in Moghbazar, New Iskaton, Basabo and Gogan areas. According to the results of the National Malaria Eradication and Aeds-borne Disease Control Program ‘Season Aedes Survey 2021’ of the Department of Health’s Disease Control Wing, the survey was conducted at 100 locations in 98 wards of Dhaka North and South City Corporation areas. Of which 41 in the north and 59 in the south. 3 thousand houses and establishments were visited in the survey. 19 areas of 10 wards of the two city corporations have gross index of more than 40. 56 areas of the two city corporations had a gross index of 20 or more. The gross index of Basabo and Gogan areas of Ward No. 2 of Dhaka South City Corporation is 73.3. Besides, the gross index is 66.7 in Elephant Road, Science Laboratory area of Ward No. 18, 50 in RK Mission Road and Tikatuli of Ward No. 39, 40 in Bansree of Ward No. 3 and 40 percent in Minto Road and Bailey Road of Ward No. 19. Gross index 56.7 was found in ward number 35 of Dhaka North City Corporation. This ward includes Moghbazar, New Iskaton area. Besides, gross index of 17th ward made up of Bashundhara residential area and Nikunj is 48.4. Gross index is 46.7 in Kalyanpur and Darus Salam area of ward number 11, 43.3 in Mirpur-10 and Kazipara of ward number 14 and 40 in ward number 20 of DNCC with Mohakhali and Niketan areas.
On the other hand, in the month of February, the results of a study by Jahangirnagar University highlighted that the density of mosquitoes in the capital has increased four times more than what it is at other times. To find out how the density of mosquitoes is increasing, samples from 6 areas including Uttara, Khilgaon, Shanir-Akhra, Shankharibazar, Mohammadpur and Paribagh were studied. The average density at these sites is more than 60 mosquitoes per dip (a measure of mosquito density). Other times 15 to 20 were available.
Insect experts say that in February, experts advised to take various activities to kill mosquitoes. But Dhaka North and Dhaka South City Corporation did not take any action on time. Rather, mosquito outbreaks have accelerated as Aedes mosquito larvae waste time feasting on them.
According to the Chittagong Bureau, the number of dengue patients is increasing in Chittagong. 15 more people were admitted to the hospital in the last 24 hours. In addition to cities, dengue is also increasing in rural areas. According to the District Civil Surgeon’s office, 175 people in the city and 43 people in the district were diagnosed with dengue on 20 days of September. In August, 68 people were infected in the metropolis and 8 people in the district. In July, 46 people in the metropolis and 4 people in the district. In June, 13 people were infected in the metropolis and 4 in the district.
Out of the total 371 people infected so far, 308 people are in the metropolis and 59 people are in the district. Among the victims, 170 men, 101 women and 100 children. Out of 15 people infected in the last 24 hours, 7 people are admitted in government hospitals and 8 people are in private hospitals. Although no one has died due to dengue infection yet, there is panic due to the increase in the outbreak.
Meanwhile, a team of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) has come to Chittagong to investigate the dengue outbreak. They are collecting samples of dengue patients. Last Saturday, the team came to Chittagong under the leadership of IEDCR doctor Rafia Binte Rauf. The other members of the four-member team are medical officer Kay Thoye Prue, technologist Azizur Rahman and sample collector Mahbub Alam Khan. After the investigation, the team will return to Dhaka and submit the report within three days. On the other hand, even though the incidence of dengue continues to increase, the city corporation does not have any special program to eliminate the Aedes mosquito that is the carrier of this disease. Their activities are limited to mobile court raids and fines in Aedes breeding grounds.