• Thursday, Nov 21, 2019
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To be safe, not sorry

  • Published at 12:04 am October 14th, 2019
Dengue
Representational photo BIGSTOCK

Problems posed by mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases are not new to Bangladesh

It is an unfortunate reality that, when it came to addressing the dengue epidemic this year, the authorities have been inadequate at best and any criticism that was directed at them has been more than warranted.

What is all the more unfortunate is the lack of cooperation and communication that seems to exist amidst the authorities concerned -- the city corporations blamed government agencies for restricting imports of repellents while the government agencies concerned criticized both city corporations for failing to import repellents despite having the registration and license to do so.

This sort of finger-pointing ultimately leads to nowhere, and it is the general public that ultimately pays a hefty price with their health and well-being.

The question, therefore, must be posed: How long will this incompetence continue?

Problems posed by mosquitoes, and mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and chikungunya, are not new to Bangladesh -- they are an annual affair. Yet, it seems that each and every year, the authorities remain woefully unprepared to tackle the crisis, turning instead to excuses.

This cannot be allowed to go on.

We must hold our authorities to a higher standard, and expect them to be better at dealing with this yearly issue.

Instead of resting on their laurels and being ad hoc in their approach to dealing with the threat of mosquitoes, the authorities must be pro-active in their planning, making sure that the mosquitoes stop breeding before it becomes a problem too big to handle.

With the immediate threat of the West Nile virus, carried by the Culex mosquito which starts breeding around this time, this is an opportunity for the concerned authorities to learn their lessons and redeem themselves.