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December dengue lesson

Calcutta: The chief of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation's health department convened a meeting with the chairpersons of all 16 boroughs on Tuesday to mobilise councillors in every neighbourhood for a door-to-door awareness campaign on vector-borne diseases.

A meeting like this one in December, when dengue prevention is usually not on the municipal authorities' agenda, signals a realisation that the fight against vector-borne diseases can no longer be a seasonal preoccupation.

Councillors have been requested to make door-to-door visits at least twice every month, among other measures.

"A councillor's participation makes an awareness campaign more effective. We want each councillor to reach every resident of his or her ward. A councillor should be able to cover the entire ward before the monsoon sets in so that people know what to do," said Atin Ghosh, the mayoral council member for health.

Debabrata Majumdar, the mayoral council member for solid waste management, participated in the discussion.

Only vector-control workers currently make door-to-door visits to identify and destroy breeding sites of mosquitoes. Some councillors did take part in awareness programmes in their wards post-November, but that was after multiple dengue deaths were reported.

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