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DNCC mayor: 8 wards at very high risk from Culex mosquitoes

  • Published at 09:36 pm October 23rd, 2019
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Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor M Atiqul Islam speaks during launching of a yearlong 'Integrated Mosquito Management' work plan in Gulshan on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The mayor declared eight wards – 20, 28, 11, 5, 31, 32, 33, and 17 to be at very high risk from Culex mosquitoes

Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor M Atiqul Islam declared 8 of 54 wards as being at very high risk from the threat of Culex mosquitoes.

He made this declaration launching a yearlong “Integrated Mosquito Management” work plan on Wednesday with a DNCC press conference in Gulshan. 

He said: “We formed a committee consisting of an entomologist and a lecturer from National University, Dr G M Saifur Rahman and Md Ashek Kabir Chowdhury respectively, supported by a group of interns, to independently investigate and identify mosquito breeding grounds.”

“According to their survey findings, I declare eight wards, 20, 28, 11, 5, 31, 32, 33, and 17, as being at very high risk from Culex mosquitoes,” the DNCC mayor added.

The mayor also said it is the duty of councillors in these specific wards to perform their responsibilities accordingly.

“We will continue this survey to control mosquito breeding. However, it is the duty of councillors to keep their wards clean and ensure a better place for the people who voted for them,” he added. 

Culex mosquitoes, commonly known as the southern house mosquito, is a medium-sized brown mosquito that exists throughout the tropics and the lower latitudes of temperate regions. It is the primary vector of the West Nile virus.

The research findings showed the existence of Culex mosquito larva at 635 sites in 49 of 54 wards. In the very high risk areas, 215 breeding sites were found, 175 sites in high risk areas, 167 in medium risk areas, and 78 sites were found in low risk areas. 

According to the World Health Organization, West Nile Virus can cause neurological disease and death in people. The virus is commonly found in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America and West Asia. 

In nature, West Nile Virus maintains a cycle involving transmission between birds and mosquitoes. Humans, horses and other mammals can be infected.

In very high risk areas more than 50 mosquito larvae were found per dip, 21-50 mosquito larvae were found per dip in high risk areas, 11-20 mosquito larvae were found per dip in medium risk areas, and 1-10 mosquito larvae were found per dip in low risk areas. 

“From September, the Culex mosquito’s breeding season starts accelerating, which continues till May, where December and January are the peak time for Culex breeding. 

“And we found 53% of breeding sites include drains, 14% is temporary wetland, 23% is permanent waterbody, and 10% is construction site and manholes,” said Dr G M Saifur Rahman.

He suggested a few control measures which include cultural control : modification of breeding sites, like removing latrines (kacha) from water bodies, physical controls: like source reduction and the use of mosquito coils, as well as biological controls, and chemical controls. 

The DNCC Mayor also said they will be more focused on keeping the city and water bodies cleaner.

The yearlong work plan   

A committee is about to be formed to follow up mosquito management in DNCC, presided over by the mayor himself. A meeting is also set to take place in order to implement the suggestions. 

The work plan suggests that chemical control will be taking place in every ward on a daily basis except Friday. 

Also, every month, insecticide, breeding plan management, and biological control will be done centrally.

Cleaning garbage from water bodies and streets will continue for the entire year. 

An advocacy meeting will also be taking place in every educational institution on a weekly basis in order to increase community awareness among people with education, awareness and motivation being the goal. 

To control Aedes and Culex mosquitoes, mass awareness programs will be held and existing measures will be strengthened. 

Furthermore, more manpower will be added, raising the number of current employees to 1620 with 270 people outsourced.  Each ward will also have 30 people designated to destroy the mosquito breeding sites. 

DNCC will continue its surveillance service for cleaning purposes and publish a monthly report on its official website. 

A different team will also work on a monthly basis to monitor and evaluate the cleaning activities of every ward. 

The DNCC is set to form a Rapid Action Team to handle emergency situations so that the general population cooperates with the mosquito control initiatives undertaken by the authorities.