Only one out of five mosquito repellents has 100% effectiveness
Four out of the five mosquito repellents used by the Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) authorities have proven to be ineffective in destroying mosquitoes.
A technical committee that tested five samples provided by the city corporation found that one of the repellents is 100% effective while two out of the rest of the four, currently in use, have 8% and 12% effectiveness.
The findings come at a time when Bangladesh is grappling to deal with the rapid number of dengue cases amid Covid-19 pandemic.
The team presented its findings to the Chittagong mayor on Tuesday, confirmed Chittagong University Proctor Dr Rabiul Hassan Bhuiyan, who is the convener of the committee.
“The herbal repellent that’s fully effective has not only been successful in destroying the mosquito larvae but also the Aedes and the anopheles mosquitoes,” he said.
He, however, refused to name the repellents tested.
According to sources in the committee, the most effective repellent, tested in a 91% humid and 28 degree centigrade lab, is more effective if sprayed rather than fogging. On the recommended amount of use, it destroyed 100% larvae and mosquitoes.
However, the second sample of repellent was able to kill 34% mosquitoes, and only killed 74% after 10 times the recommended use.
The third and fourth samples, which are currently being used, were only 8% effective at 10 times the recommended use. The fifth sample proved to be 12% effective.
The CCC authorities undertook initiatives for a quality check after questions were raised on the effectiveness of the repellents.
On March 24, a six-member committee was formed, and the researchers started their work in full swing from July 5. They inspected 99 areas and collected 52 mosquito larvae over 25 days. Out of the 51 areas, 33 had Aedes mosquitoes present, 39 had anopheles and 22 had both.
Meanwhile, Dhaka's south and north city corporation authorities have been carrying out anti-mosquito drives for the last few weeks to prevent a possible dengue outbreak.
On Monday, Bangladesh recorded 287 dengue cases, the highest this year so far. Over 3,000 patients have been hospitalized since January.
The government is also considering separate hospitals for the dengue patients. According to the health minister, the authorities have primarily identified several hospitals to treat dengue patients.
The selected hospitals include Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital, Shaheed Ahsan Ullah Master General Hospital in Tongi, Lalkuthi Hospital, Railway Hospital, and several others.
In 2000, 93 people died when the tropical fever was reported the first time ever in Bangladesh.
Even though the country learned to deal with it better, 2018 saw one of the biggest surges in dengue and it has been continuing ever since.