Preventive measures to be taken by Chennaiites for dengue

Chennai: There is good news for residents of Anna Nagar in teh city. According to findings of Indian Public Health Association- Tamilnadu chapter, the area of Anna Nagar has been considered as low risk as the percentage of dengue spreading Aedes Aegypti mosquito is under five per cent.

The association’s findings say that residences near water sources in Anna Nagar have less than 9 per cent dengue causing vectors and residences in other areas have five per cent Aedes Aegypti mosquito population.

Residents in most areas also feel that compared to last year, there are considerably fewer mosquitoes present.

They say that active measures taken by Chennai Corporation to address the issue due to the dengue outbreak last year has made the officials act in double quick time this year.

Syra Banu, a resident of G Block said, “We have a well in our house. This year we observed that the Chennai Corporation officials sent a person once every month without fail to pour chemicals to prevent mosquito breeding in the well. This was not the case last year. It is good to see them taking pro-active measures.”

However, the residents of Anna Nagar West Extension, Thiruvalleeswarar Nagar, and N, M and L blocks differ in their opinions. These areas are in close proximity to the Otteri Nullah canals and Padi canals that are major mosquito breeding spots.

Kavitha, a resident of Thiruvalleeswarar Nagar said, “Though anti-fogging is done regularly by the government, it is of no use as the mosquitoes breed in the garbage and debris dumped along the banks of the canal and in other placed in the locality. Thankfully I have not heard of any dengue cases reported here.”

Akshara a resident of N Block cited the same problem. She said, “If one walks along the canal, we can find plastic, glass, metal and ceramic disposables that clog the entire stretch of the drain, which is a few feet away from the residential area.”

WHAT OFFICIALS SAY

When News Today contacted sanitary officials in the corporation for Anna Nagar, he said, ‘We are well prepared to handle all situations. The Health Ministry has issued directives to the government hospitals and primary health centres to immediately check fever cases for dengue. The Government Peripheral Hospital in Anna Nagar is equipped to handle large dengue outbreaks and emergencies.’

On the preventive measured carried out, he said, “Increased Vehicle mounted fogging is being undertaken. We have sent notices to all pharmacies to not issue tablets without valid prescriptions as people might be suffering from dengue and normal paracetamol tablets to control fever will only suppress the temperature without curing the disease.”

“To cure the fever naturally, nilavembu kashayam, papaya leaf juice and malaivembu ilai saaru are being distributed in all public health centres and government hospitals. The Arignar Anna Hospital of Indian Medicine in Arumbakkam is one of the major centres manufacturing and distributing nilavembu chooranam,” he added.

On house-to-house inspection, he said, “Every week, source reduction techniques like chlorination is being done to kill mosquito larvae and flying squads have been deployed to inspect and sanitise mosquito breeding spaces in houses.”

PREVENTIVE MEASURES

Discard materials (such as tyres, bird baths, buckets, trash containers) that could act as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Use safe insect repellent cream.

Avoid storing water for a long period of time.

Avoid self-medication.

Keep your surroundings clean and hygienic.

Change flower vase/aquarium water once a week.

Keep an eye mosquito eggs around your house.

Avoid travelling to crowded place.

Wear masks if there’s any epidemic breakout.

Keep the area of the infected-patient sanitized

NT Bureau