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TIB: Irregularities, corruption led to horrifying dengue situation

  • Published at 07:21 pm September 25th, 2019
TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman among others speaking at a research unveiling program in Dhaka on September 25, 2019 Mahmud Hossain Opu

TIB said the research was done considering the dengue situation an emergency health hazard

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has said even though there are mechanisms in place to ensure healthy environment, irregularities and corruption have led to the reemergence of dengue.

TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman, in a research paper unveiling program on Aedes mosquito control and good governance in Dhaka city, said irregularities and corruption are prevalent in every step of the procedures involved. 

He said the rapid research that took one month to complete was done considering the dengue situation an emergency health hazard. 

The research was presented on Wednesday by TIB deputy program managers (research and policy) Mostafa Kamal and Julkarnayeen.

They said the research was based on secondary resources, and focused on finding out the sort of irregularities and corruptions were prevalent, and what was barring the country in tackling the situation.

The research also tried to focus on measures that could be taken to get the situation under control. 

According to the researchers, destroying Aedes mosquitoes with the adulticide method was not the right approach, as opposed to the more effective larvicide method.    

The research highlighted problems inside the institutions concerned barring the path of tackling such types of diseases. 

Dr Iftekharuzzaman said, among the four approaches of controlling such types of diseases, the government preferred only the chemical-based control approach. 

“In this approach, they need to procure materials that allows for scope of corruption,” he added.

TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman among others speaking at a research unveiling program in Dhaka on September 25, 2019 | Mahmud Hossain Apu/Dhaka TribuneDengue has spread all over Bangladesh owing to the lack of coordination among the organizations concerned in the mosquito eradication program. But instead of recognizing that, the authorities took an attempt to impose the responsibilities on general people with imposition of fines, he said. 

In addition, on an average, there are five mosquito repellent workers in each ward, which is very inadequate. The distribution of workers should be made depending on the size of the area and the number of people under the ward. Moreover, there is a shortage of staff training, the executive director added.

DSCC pays 40% more for mosquito repellent than DNCC

While explaining the irregularities and corruption inside city corporations, TIB said Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) breached The Public Procurement Rules, 2008. 

Dockyard and Engineering Works Limited, Narayanganj (DEW Ltd) from whom both DNCC and DSCC ordered insecticides, is also not registered under Plant Protection Wing of the Agricultural Ministry, which has been made mandatory through Pesticide Act 2018. 

Dr Iftekharuzzaman said DSCC paid around 40% more than DNCC months earlier, some Tk6.44 crore overpaid in purchase. 

The researchers found that the company offered the same product to DNCC for Tk217 per litre, while DSCC paid Tk378 per litre for the same product.

They also alleged that staffs of two city corporations sold pesticides and fuel of fogging machines at the local markets. The larvicide was also discarded without using. 

They also claimed to find that half of the fogging machines in DNCC were malfunctioning in 2018, where, after buying new machines, some 40 to 45 machines still remain unusable. On the other hand, 428 fogging machines out of 940 of DSCC remain inoperable. 

IEDCR lacks WHO standards in examining quality of medicine for repellent

The researchers, at the program, alleged that in the case of examining the quality of pesticide or medicine for repellent, the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) lacks the standards set by the World Health Organization. 

TIB Deputy Program Manager Julkarnayeen said, although IEDCR does not have the WHO directed support laboratory, they are running the examination with the same medicine for last 10 to 12 years. 

“No examinations were done on city mosquitoes to find out if they have become resistant to these medicines,” he added.                                                

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