Monday, 30th October 2017

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100 CMC wards at dengue risk

At least 100 of the 144 wards in Calcutta are vulnerable to dengue with 109 cases reported between August 15 and 22.

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 31.08.18
  •  

Salt Lake: At least 100 of the 144 wards in Calcutta are vulnerable to dengue with 109 cases reported between August 15 and 22.

The government has hardly ever accepted that dengue is a problem but now a survey by a government agency has shown how widespread the problem is.

The study shows not just wards on the outskirts of Calcutta (Kasba, Tiljala and Behala) where vigil is lax but also places in the heart of the city like Girish Park, Jorasankao, Ahiritola, Shyambazar, Ballygunge and Kalighat have been hit by the mosquitoes menace.

At least 296 people tested positive for dengue till August 15. But the number shot up to 405 in the next seven days, the survey found.

Intermittent rain followed by dry spells during this time of the year help create mosquito breeding pockets, a public health expert said.

The period between September and November is most crucial when the number of dengue patients goes up.

Heavy rain washes away eggs and larvae of the dengue-causing Aedes aegypti mosquito.

But that did not happen because of the way it has rained in the city this month till now.

The survey showed 1,148 people from across Calcutta, Salt Lake and areas under 11 municipalities have tested positive for dengue so far.

Last year, 2,374 dengue cases were reported in the city, up from 1,686 in 2016.

"As part of the survey we collated figures based on door-to-door information collected by health workers and members of the vector control team," Debjit Chakrabarty, a doctor specialising in the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases like dengue and attached to the state urban development agency, said.

"Figures show places in wards like 11-12 (Shyambazar), 21 (Jorabagan), 49 (Bowbazar) and 84 (Kalighat and Deshapriya Park) have "very high larvae-load".

The survey has identified 187 "vulnerable wards" from a list of 13 civic bodies, including Calcutta Municipal Corporation, where intervention in all forms - from garbage management to spraying - had to be stepped up to prevent the mosquito menace.

Among the 187 wards, six are from North Dum Dum, seven from Panihati and six from Sonarpur-Rajpur municipalities, and 10 from the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation.

"Some municipalities complained that health workers who maintain cleanliness and spread dengue awareness are being removed and assigned poll-related duties," Firhad Hakim, urban development minister, said.

Hakim was addressing a gathering of chairpersons and councillors on the prevention of the vector-borne diseases. "The government will provide all support in fighting the battle and safeguarding the wards. We have taken it up as a challenge."

If the survey showed that the prevalence of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes is high despite all prevention efforts, the actual figure could be worse, an official said.

CIVIC APP TO ANSWER HEALTH QUERIES

Mayor Sovan Chatterjee on Thursday launched a health app that will provide details of the nearest health centre and 
of malaria and dengue. “People who don’t know where the health centre is located in their neighbourhood will benefit from this app,” Atin Ghosh, mayoral council member, health, said. Metro gives the app low-down

A screenshot of the app

The name 

KMC Health App. It is available in Google Play Store and will be ready for download on App store for iPhones from September 7. The app is in English, Bengali, Hindi and Urdu

Health centres 

There are nine options on the home page. Clicking on “Health Center”, one will find the addresses of all 144 civic health centres. The health centres will be shown on the phone based on distance from a person’s location 

Contact 

The “Contact Us” option has the name and office phone numbers of mayoral council member Ghosh and health department officials. 

There are numbers of the nodal officer who looks after food safety standards, the chief municipal health officer and health officials in charge of every boroughMalaria and Dengue

There are separate options for malaria and dengue. Each of the options will highlight the symptoms and detail the disease diagnosis process. 

Apart from some dos and don’ts, the app mentions that blood tests are done free of cost at the health centres

Civic website

There’s an option to reach the website of the civic body, detailing what it does, the names and numbers of the councillors, and the names and numbers of department officials

Reporting by Subhajoy Roy