Tuesday, May 28, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Are the authorities ready to combat dengue spread this year?

  • DNCC to start using Bti bacteria after Eid
  • Modern wheelbarrows to be used for spraying larvicide
  • DSCC to administer larvicides, adulticides every day
Update : 05 Apr 2024, 12:01 AM

While traditionally confined to July and August, dengue fever cases are now occurring year-round in Dhaka. The onset of the monsoon season particularly sees a surge in cases. In response to this trend, Dhaka's south and north city corporations have devised comprehensive plans to combat dengue outbreaks before the monsoon arrives, with these efforts slated to start after the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr.

According to sources at the DSCC, larvicides will be administered every morning and adulticides in the afternoons to eradicate mosquitoes. Additionally, the agency will conduct systematic combing operations post-Eid in wards that reported over 10 dengue cases last year.

In addition to these measures, collaborative awareness campaigns will be conducted at thanas, homes, schools and colleges. Large-scale programs will emphasize the importance of responsible behaviour, urging people to prevent water accumulation and maintain cleanliness in their surroundings. Furthermore, mobile courts will intensify enforcement to enhance citizen vigilance.

Addressing inquiries about dengue eradication efforts, Dr Fazle Shamsul Kabir, chief health officer of the DSCC, highlighted the corporation's work at the field level since January. He further outlined the start of the DSCC’s extensive plan after Eid. 

The officer mentioned simultaneous implementation across all 75 wards, with a particular focus on those with high patient counts from the last year, before reiterating their commitment to engaging people from all walks of life to enhance public awareness and combat dengue effectively.

Meanwhile, sources at the DNCC disclosed plans for an extensive campaign after Eid, alongside regular activities such as daily mosquito repellent spraying. 

This year, the DNCC will directly import Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis), bypassing contractors, following allegations of irregularities in Bti technology importation for mosquito larvae control last year.

The DNCC aims to initiate Bti use immediately after Eid. Besides, it has taken the initiative to introduce modern wheelbarrows for spraying larvicide.

"Last year we saw a sudden increase in the number of dengue patients. For this reason, we will start a campaign to curb dengue spread after Eid instead of waiting for the [dengue] season to start,” DNCC Mayor Md Atiqul Islam said.

The mayor added that in order to engage the community in eradication efforts, the DNCC was planning to purchase items conducive to Aedes larvae growth, such as chip packets and ice cream cups, exchanging them for cash.

Expert opinion

Experts say the myriad of activities of the two city corporations yield negligible benefits owing to the absence of a comprehensive plan.

Dr Kabirul Bashar, professor of zoology at Jahangirnagar University and an entomologist, said one of the many methods of mosquito control was spraying insecticide to kill larvae, which the two city corporations employed the most.

However, he said while larvae control was effective before and at the onset of the dengue season, eradicating adult mosquitoes was imperative during outbreaks, underscoring the need for research to enhance the effectiveness of dengue eradication programs.

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