Home Bangladesh Dhaka City Corporations fail to control Dengue
Bangladesh - Health - July 27, 2023

Dhaka City Corporations fail to control Dengue

Zarif Mahmud: The number of dengue patients is increasing at an alarming rate in 129 wards of the two city corporations of Dhaka. Doctors are struggling to provide dengue treatment in hospitals. Dengue ward beds are not available in most hospitals. Many hospitals are treating patients to get beds on the floor. In this situation, the two city corporations of Dhaka claim that they are conducting multifaceted programs to control dengue and have taken various initiatives. However, the apparently worsening dengue situation suggests that the results of these initiatives are almost ‘zero’.
Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) are unable to do anything to kill mosquitoes even though dengue has become such a critical situation in the capital. No method of killing them is working. As a result, the number of dengue cases and deaths is increasing by leaps and bounds.
However, entomologists believe that the dengue situation will be worse in August and September. They said that dengue may take a more dangerous form in the coming days during the monsoon season. Because, wherever rainwater collects, Aedes mosquito larvae are found there. Again, Aedes mosquitoes are breeding in some places, where there is no connection with rainwater. These include parking lots of multi-storey buildings, basements of buildings under construction, water meter boxes and water stored in houses.
Mosquito control in the city is one of the main functions of the city corporation. But citizens feel that DNCC and DSCC have failed in this task. However, DNCC and DSCC concerned departments claim that usually Aedes mosquitoes breed in water accumulated in abandoned containers in the yard of homes. In this case, the corporation does not have the ability to kill Aedes mosquitoes by entering every house. So all residents of the city should be aware of this mosquito killer. You should keep your yard clean regularly. Mosquito control or extermination is not possible without public awareness.
DNCC is running the most campaigns or programs to create public awareness about mosquitoes. They have made a proposal to the Ministry of Education to add public awareness chapters on Aedes and Culex mosquitoes in school textbooks. DNCC has signed MoU with Jahangirnagar University for mosquito research. One lakh mosquito awareness cartoon books have been printed for free distribution in schools and colleges. Besides, public awareness campaign is going on in various educational institutions, mosques-madrasas and religious institutions of Dhaka North.
Despite such initiatives, the mosquito infestation in the DNCC area is increasing by leaps and bounds. According to the information of the Department of Health, now more patients from Uttara, Mohammadpur, Mirpur, Tejgaon and Badda areas of DNCC are going to the hospital for dengue treatment. Similarly, more dengue patients are detected in Jatrabari, Mugda, Kadmatoli, Jurain, Dhanmondi and Basabo of DSCC.
Monday (July 24) in charge of Health Emergency Operation Center and Control Room of the Department of Health Dr. Md. Zahidul Islaminformed that 2,293 people were admitted to different public and private hospitals in the country from 8:00 am on Sunday (July 23) to 8:00 am on Monday. Among them 1,238 residents of Dhaka and 1,055 people outside Dhaka. Besides, on Monday (July 24), nine people died of dengue fever in the country. With this, the number of people who have died due to dengue this year has reached 185.
From January 1 to July 24 this year, 35,270 people were admitted to the hospital due to dengue. Earlier in 2022, 281 people died due to dengue, the highest in the history of the country. 27 people died of dengue in the last month of that year, December. At the same time, 62,382 people were admitted to the hospital due to dengue in the year under discussion.
During the corona epidemic in 2020, dengue infection was not seen much, but in 2021, 28,429 people were infected with dengue throughout the country. In the same year, 105 people died due to dengue throughout the country.
Kabirul Bashar, Professor of Entomology Department of Jahangirnagar University, told Daily Industry that Aedes mosquito used to spread during the monsoon season. Now Aedes mosquito larvae are available in different cities of the country including Dhaka throughout the year. Being infected with dengue and being admitted to the hospital. Next August and September will be worse for dengue. He said that it is not possible to completely eradicate Aedes mosquitoes in Dhaka city. But it can be controlled. For this, public awareness is needed along with the City Corporation.
54 wards of DNCC with an area of 196.22 square kilometers of the capital. DNCC health department sources said that Dhaka North City Corporation started mosquito control program in 54 wards to control the spread of Aedes in view of monsoon season. Bangladesh National Cadet Corps (BNCC) and National Scout Team have joined them to create public awareness. Basically, they are doing house-to-house mosquito eradication activities and creating public awareness. Apart from this, the DNCC mobile court is fining the buildings where Aedes larvae are found. DNCC is also conducting public awareness activities with Imams of mosques, schools-madrasas, university teachers and students.
On June 17, DNCC held an exchange meeting with principals or head teachers of all schools and colleges in the area under DNCC to raise awareness about dengue control in the auditorium of Lalmatia Government Women’s College. In the meeting, the DNCC Mayor made the teachers aware of the breeding ground of Aedes by showing abandoned car tires, tin shells, earthen pots, food packets, unused commodes.
Among these, Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Jahangirnagar University for research on controlling mosquito-borne diseases. The MoU was signed on Sunday (July 23) at the Vice-Chancellor’s office. The Memorandum of Understanding was handed over in a press conference organized in the hall of DNCC Nagarbhaban in Gulshan on Monday (July 24).
Under this agreement, which is valid till June 2026, the effectiveness of various insecticides to control mosquito-borne diseases including dengue and mosquito density, mosquito species will be tested in this lab. And through testing, measures will be taken to control mosquitoes by applying insecticides and using any device to control mosquitoes. DNCC will use the university laboratory for this work.
Three employees from DNCC will be responsible for assisting in this work. Professor and Entomologist of Zoology Department of Jahangirnagar University Kabirul Bashar and his teamwill perform the main responsibility in this research work.
On July 24, DNCC announced the budget for the fiscal year 2023-24. Out of this, the agency has allocated Tk 122 crore in the financial year 2023-24 for the city’s smoke control program and equipment purchase. Tk 67.50 crore has been spent in this sector in the financial year 2022-23.
Citizens complain that mosquitoes are not reducing in the city despite taking so many programs or initiatives of DNCC. Manik Mia, a resident of Madhya Badda, said that earlier mosquitoes used to bite after evening. All day mosquito infestation now. I hear that many people in the neighborhood are suffering from dengue.
When asked, Mayor Atiqul Islam told Daily Industry that various initiatives have been taken with utmost importance to control mosquitoes. In addition to regular larviciding and destruction of Aedes breeding grounds for mosquito killing, awareness campaign for dengue control, one thousand Imam-Khatibs of mosques and madrassas in DNCC area, exchange meetings with headmasters and principals of schools and colleges, drones are being used to identify Aedes larvae in rooftop gardens. Apart from this, an agreement has been made to carry out research in the laboratory of Jahangirnagar University to determine the species and behavior of mosquitoes to take proper, effective steps for mosquito control. Mosquito control has been given priority in this year’s budget as well.
DSCCO has conducted various programs throughout the year to control Aedes mosquitoes. They have created public awareness by regularly spraying mosquito repellents in 75 wards. Now the organization is giving equal importance to Aedes mosquito. However, citizens said that their programs or activities are less compared to DNCC.
DSCC health department sources said that DSCC conducts various programs throughout the year in 75 wards of DSCC to control mosquitoes. As a part of this, they are conducting various programs including conducting mobile court every day. Fines are being made regularly.
However, according to the list of DNCC, now Jurain, Jatrabari, Mugda areas have more dengue patients, DSCC said. Every day, hundreds of people from these areas are going to different hospitals in Dhaka to get dengue treatment.
Mizanur Rahman is involved in civil movement related to public interest in Jurain area. He told Daily Industry that millions of people in Jurain and surrounding areas are distressed and afraid of dengue. Marginal class people live more in this region. Many of them are desperately trying to save their loved ones from dengue by saving money, selling household items, lending and reaching out to people. We no longer want dengue and death. On July 14, I held a public meeting to demand that the government open a temporary hospital in Jurain, start free blood tests and dengue treatment and take urgent measures to eradicate Aedes mosquitoes.
However, more importance is being given to killing mosquitoes in dengue risk areas, said DSCC Chief Health Officer Fazle Shamsul Kabir. He said that DSCC has undertaken a year-long program to control dengue. Actions are being taken accordingly. But now manpower has been increased in areas where dengue cases are high.

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