Whether dengue or coronavirus, when people get sick, our health care system is overburdened
When 105 new cases of dengue are reported within a 24-hour period alone, with 460 people in total receiving treatment at hospitals, it becomes clear that we are faced with a health crisis which could quickly get out of hand if we fail to treat it as a priority.
Dengue has been a serious threat to public health ever since it broke out in Bangladesh back in 2000. In 2019, we experienced a particularly vicious dengue season, and hospitals had their hands full. It is disheartening that over the years, we have not made as much progress as we should have towards eliminating dengue, and now, because of that, we are faced with a potentially unmanageable task on our hands: Fight dengue while simultaneously fighting the deadliest pandemic in recent history.
It may be tempting to treat dengue as a secondary problem right now, with the Delta variant of Covid-19 ravaging the country, but the fact is, one problem compounds another. Whether dengue or coronavirus, when people get sick, our health care system is overburdened. This puts undue pressure on not just medical resources and on our doctors, but on the entire economy and nation. Just like coronavirus, dengue can kill, and when an innocent life is lost to disease, the magnitude of the tragedy is the same -- regardless of the cause of death.
We must, then, ramp up the fight against dengue. Our longer term goal, of course, should be to eliminate dengue completely, starting with cleaning out all aedes larvae and breeding grounds. Increasing public awareness about where and how dengue spreads would also go a long way. There was a time when the country was dengue-free, so it is not inconceivable that we can achieve that state once more.