Health workers campaign against dengue at Millatganj in Dhanbad district on Friday. Picture by Gautam Dey
The dengue’s deadly sting in neighbouring Bokaro district and Bengal have set off the alarm bells in Dhanbad.
The district health department has stepped up efforts to spread awareness regarding the vector-borne disease besides drawing up a strategy to prevent breeding of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the carrier of dengue. It is enlisting the support of railways, corporate houses and Maithon Power Limited for carrying out fogging and spraying larvicide in urban areas.
According to district malaria officer R.C. Sahay, who is also the nodal officer for dengue, 44 health workers, 20 field workers of filaria control programme and 20 multipurpose workers of malaria control programme have been roped in for awareness drives in Jharia, Dhanbad and Katras block, which are most vulnerable to the disease.
This apart, hoardings and posters highlighting dos and don’ts have been put up across Dhanbad and pamphlets being distributed from door to door. Announcements are being made through loudspeakers fitted atop autos.
“We are also using the mass media to spread awareness through local channels. Slides on dengue and what should be done to check it have been sent to two cinemas — Ray Talkies in Dhanbad and Puja Talkies — so that it can be telecast before the start of the movies,” Sahay told The Telegraph.
Manager of Puja Talkies Ganesh Singh promised to run the slides before all four shows soon after getting the same.
Sahay further stressed that strict surveillance was on in different localities with the workers particularly keeping a tab on sources of stagnant water in every household.
“Only two cases of dengue have so far been detected in Dhanbad, one of which is a migratory case as the patient arrived here from outside. The other person is his relative,” said Sahay, adding that there was no need to panic.
Regarding availability of ELISA kits at Patliputra Medical College and Hospital, Sahay said the stock got exhausted on Wednesday and the microbiology department had already sent a requisition for more, which would come within a day and two.
“We will not face any problem as we have made arrangements for sending blood samples to RIMS, Ranchi, till the kits come from Pune,” he added.
As for the role of outside agencies, he said, “East Central Railway, Dhanbad division, helped us provide NSI kit to the railway hospital. Maithon Power Limited has made financial contribution to carry out fogging in Nirsa. We are using Mada’s fogging machines.”