Aedes density on rise in capital

Experts for concerted efforts to control dengue vector

Rashidul Hasan

3rd July, 2021 10:11:22 PM printer

Aedes density on rise in capital

Experts have urged the city dwellers to cooperate with the authorities of two Dhaka city corporations to control Aedes mosquito in the capital in a bid to tackle the dengue situation as a survey has found a rise in the density of its population.

The dengue situation may worsen if people do not act immediately together with the authorities to control the dengue vector, they said.

Talking to the Daily Sun, noted entomologist Kabirul Bashar said, “It’s not possible to control Aedes only with pesticide as it breeds on clean water containers like basements and building rooftops, old tyres, flower vases, discarded buckets and inside under-construction buildings. Workers tasked to kill mosquitoes have no access to those private places.”

“City dwellers must remove stagnant water and water containers from their respective houses and neighborhoods while the city corporations will have to conduct cleanliness drives in common spaces like roads, footpaths and bus stations,” Kabirul Bashar who is a professor of Zoology at Jahangirnagar University (JU) said.

He along with a team of JU conducted a survey recently and found that the Aedes population became almost double in every area of the capital in June.

The JU Professor said, “We’ve found Aedes larvae mostly in discarded tyres and under-construction buildings. Due to the heavy rainfall in the capital in June, containers scattered in different places were full of fresh water and became breeding grounds for Aedes.”

He said it needs immediate action from the authorities of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) as well as the city dwellers to control the vector of dengue as the number of dengue patients is rising in hospitals. 

According to the Directorate General of Health Services, the number of dengue cases has gone up four times in just one month from only 43 in May to around 300 in June.

The number of dengue patients was 32 in January, nine in February, 13 in March and three in April.

Assistant Professor of Zoology department at the National University Dr GM Saifur Rahman said the total rainfall was higher in June which is the reason behind the rise in Aedes population as well as dengue cases in the capital.

He urged the city dwellers to be careful and act responsibly alongside the city corporations to control mosquitoes.

Saifur Rahman also said the city corporation authorities should educate the city dwellers about the Aedes and urge them not to slap any fine on anyone. “Many educated people can’t identify Aedes mosquito and are totally unaware that they’re breeding the mosquito in their basements, under-construction buildings and gardens. City corporations should create awareness among them,” he added.

“The city corporation authorities should not create panic among dengue patients as well as city dwellers by imposing any fine. Besides, they should encourage people to take part in the mosquito control activities by delivering proper information about addresses of dengue patients. If people have information, they can join the control operation,” he said.   

The NU teacher also advised them to constitute emergency response teams that will collect data on dengue patients from different hospitals in the capital. “Taking the home and workstation addresses of the patients, they’ll search for and destroy mosquito breeding grounds before the massive spread of dengue cases.”

What DSCC, DNCC are doing?

DNCC Chief Health Officer Md Zobaidur Rahman said they are carrying out a public awareness programme along with the regular mosquito controlling activities. “As part of it, we arranged road shows with the participation of celebrities and distinguished citizens, and advocacy meetings with different stakeholders. We’re calling for not to keep water stagnant in containers for more than three days, and ensuring cleanliness,” he said.

“We’re continuing our regular activities of spraying pesticide in the morning and afternoon to destroy both larvae and adult mosquitoes. We’ve also conducted mobile court drives and sued, fined and jailed those responsible for breeding mosquitoes,” he added.

In an email, DSCC Chief Health Officer Sharif Ahmed said they sent letters to different housing societies, government and non-government authorities to conduct mosquito control activities regularly.

They are collecting information about dengue patients and conducting mosquito controlling drives in their houses and neighborhoods, he said, adding that the DSCC is conducting mobile court drives as a legal step to remove the mosquito larvae.