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Students to join war on winged menace

- Trained schoolchildren will spread awareness about malaria in 729 villages of Bokaro

Bokaro district administration has decided to rope in primary and middle schoolchildren, besides showing films and distributing booklets, to carry out a massive anti-malaria drive in 729 villages, starting from April.

The decision was taken after the experiment to use larva-eating guppy and gambusia fish in water bodies to eradicate mosquitoes and wipe out malaria from the adjacent areas failed.

Asked how students could help in eradicating malaria, Bokaro civil surgeon S.B. Singh pointed out that there were 1,207 primary and 556 middle schools operational in Bokaro.

“If the students of all these schools joined hands with 1,420 sahiyas working at the medical centres in eight blocks of Bokaro, maximum number of people could be reached and educated on how to prevent malaria,” Singh said.

Throwing light on their strategy, the civil surgeon explained that schoolteachers would first educate the students on dos and don’ts for prevention of malaria.

To generate interest among the students, a short film on the subject will be screened. These apart, quizzes and debates on the topic will be organised with attractive prizes for the winners.

“We have published altogether 65,000 booklets, which will be distributed amongst the schoolchildren. They will use them as teaching manuals to impart lessons on malaria prevention to their family members, neighbours and local villagers,” Singh added.

The administration will also screen the documentary titled — Jitenge Hum Malaria Se — in all the 729 villages of Bokaro.

This latest drive will go along simultaneously with regular spraying of DDT and distribution of free medicines and mosquito nets.

According to district health department, 1,617 persons had been detected positive with malaria in 2013. The figures were compiled from the records at Bokaro general hospital, Chas sub-divisional hospital and few pathological clinics in the steel city.

The figures would be much higher if patients visiting private clinics and nursing homes were taken into account.

The department further stated that of these 1,617 patients, maximum (967) persons were suffering from plasmodium vivax while 201 persons had contracted plasmodium falciparum malaria.

“If falciparum or malignant is the deadliest form, vivax is the most frequent cause of recurring malaria,” explained civil surgeon Singh. He, however, added that no one had reportedly died of malaria in the district in 2013.

District malaria officer Anil Kumar Poddar said that the highest number of malignant malaria were reported from Petarwar, Jaridih and Gomia blocks, which were Maoist-infested zones.