Friday, 29 September, 2023

Collective Efforts Needed To Control Dengue

Dr Matiur Rahman

Collective Efforts Needed To Control Dengue
Dr Matiur Rahman

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease that is common in many parts of the world, including Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, it spreads during the monsoon season, from June to September. Bangladesh experiences dengue outbreaks for several decades. The country has a suitable climate and environmental conditions for the breeding of the Aedes mosquito, the primary vector for dengue transmission. Dengue cases in Bangladesh tend to spike during and after the monsoon season. The heavy rainfall and stagnant water provide ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Dengue is more prevalent in densely populated urban and semi-urban areas. Cities like Dhaka, Chattogram, and Khulna generally are often reported with higher number of dengue cases. Bangladesh experienced severe dengue outbreaks in recent years. In 2019, the country faced its worst dengue outbreak record, with over 101,000 reported cases and several hundred of deaths.

The government of Bangladesh, along with various health organizations, has been working to combat dengue and reduce its impact. Initiatives include mosquito control measures, public awareness campaigns, and strengthening healthcare facilities for dengue treatment. To prevent dengue, individuals are advised to take precautions such as using mosquito repellents, wearing protective clothing, and eliminating mosquito breeding grounds around their houses. The government also conducts mosquito control programs, including larviciding and fogging in city areas.

Early diagnosis of dengue is crucial for effective management. Dengue symptoms may include high fever, severe headache, joint and muscle pain, rash, and mild bleeding. Treatment mainly focuses on supportive care, such as rest, hydration, and pain relief. In severe cases, hospitalization and specialized medical care are required.

Controlling dengue in Dhaka, like any other areas, requires a multi-faceted approach. Mosquitoes that carry dengue virus breed in stagnant water. So, it is necessary to clean potential breeding sites around everyone’s house. Regularly change the water in water storage containers and clean roof gutters to prevent water accumulation. Sleeping under mosquito nets, especially during the daytime when dengue-transmitting mosquitoes are most active, can provide protection. Installing screen windows and door can prevent mosquitoes from entering rooms. Use mosquito repellents on exposed skin and clothing, following the instructions provided. Use products containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus for effective protection. Implementing mosquito control programs at the community level may involve fogging or spraying insecticides in areas with high mosquito populations.

Proper waste management is crucial to prevent the accumulation of garbage and stagnant water, which can serve as mosquito breeding grounds. Encourage community participation in waste disposal practices, including regular collection, proper disposal, and recycling efforts. Stay updated on dengue-related information, guidelines, and initiatives provided by health authorities. Early diagnosis and proper treatment can help prevent complications and reduce the spread of the virus.

Dengue control demands collective effort, and so sustained actions are necessary to effectively manage the disease. Engaging the community, raising awareness, and implementing preventive measures consistently can contribute to controlling dengue. It's also important to stay informed about the latest guidelines and recommendations from local health authorities.

In Dhaka, the responsibility for controlling dengue lies with multiple stakeholders, including government authorities and various organizations. The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, is responsible for the overall public health management in Bangladesh. They play a significant role in coordinating dengue control activities, providing guidelines, and overseeing healthcare facilities for dengue treatment.

DNCC and DSCC play a crucial role in implementing mosquito control measures, waste management, and public health initiatives, including dengue prevention and awareness campaigns. The Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives oversees the city corporations and local government bodies responsible for managing and implementing public services, including dengue control efforts at the local level. The DGHS has a dedicated Communicable Disease Control (CDC) program that focuses on preventing and controlling communicable diseases, including dengue. The CDC program conducts surveillance, provides technical guidance, and supports the development and implementation of dengue prevention strategies.

Various NGOs and non-profit organizations work alongside government agencies to contribute to dengue control efforts in Dhaka. These organizations often conduct awareness campaigns, implement community-based initiatives, and provide support in terms of resources, expertise, and manpower.

Dengue control is a shared responsibility, and community participation is crucial. Residents of Dhaka play a vital role in preventing dengue by implementing preventive measures, reporting potential breeding sites, and actively participating in community awareness programs.

It's important to note that the specific responsibilities and roles of these entities may vary based on the administrative structure, government policies, and local dynamics. Effective dengue control requires collaboration and coordination among these stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive approach to combating the disease.

Controlling dengue in Dhaka, Bangladesh requires a collaborative effort involving various stakeholders. Government authorities, including the Directorate General of Health Services, Dhaka North City Corporation, and Dhaka South City Corporation, have a significant role in coordinating and implementing dengue control measures. They provide guidelines, conduct mosquito control programs, and raise awareness through public campaigns.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also contribute to dengue control efforts by conducting community-based initiatives, providing resources and expertise, and supporting awareness campaigns. Community participation is crucial, as individuals need to take responsibility for eliminating mosquito breeding sites, using preventive measures like mosquito nets and repellents, and reporting suspected cases.

Effective waste management, proper sanitation practices, and improved public health infrastructure are vital components of dengue control in Dhaka. Continuous surveillance, early diagnosis, and prompt treatment of dengue cases are essential for minimizing the impact of the disease.

By working together, sharing knowledge, and implementing preventive measures consistently, it is possible to control and reduce the burden of dengue in Dhaka. It is important to stay updated on the guidelines and recommendations provided by local health authorities to ensure effective dengue control strategies are in place.


The writer is a development worker