April 17, 2024, 12:12 am

Staff Correspondent

2023-07-20 10:21:27 BdST

Experts for holistic approach to prevent dengue disease

Healthcare professionals today focused on holistic approach for combating dengue as the mosquito-borne disease has already turned into a public health problem.

"We need to take holistic approach incorporating all relevant agencies to contain dengue disease as it has created a massive public health burden," Professor Dr. Md. Nazmul Islam, Line Director, Communicable Disease Control (CDC) of Director of Directorate General of Health Service; said.

He said the number of dengue patients had been increasing alarmingly since January this year giving a signal of dengue pandemic during rainy season as 566 dengue cases were reported in the first month of the year, which are almost five times higher than that of same period of past three years.

As many as 177 dengue positive cases were recorded in January 2020, 21 cases in January 2021, 126 cases in January 2022 while 566 dengue patients were detected in January 2023, Nazmul added.

He said both city corporations have to play a leading role in curbing dengue diseases, saying: "The city corporations have an authority to develop a mechanism to handle the mosquito-borne disease."

The health expert said, "If we can be able to kill Aedes mosquito completely or destroying potential breeding grounds, we can prevent the disease...but it is a huge task to eradicate Aedes mosquito completely."

He said social movement incorporating all levels of people in society including religious leaders should be launched to destroy breeding sources of Aedes mosquito.

Dr M Mushtaq Hussain, adviser of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), described community mobilization as the most effective initiative to control dengue outbreak as the country is now in the grip of the mosquito-borne disease.

"Community engagement is very crucial to prevent dengue disease... All relevant organizations should work in a coordinated manner to rein in dengue outbreak," he added.

Mushtaq said, "Dengue infection rate will increase during the rainy season, if we do not take proper measures to halt the spread of the disease."

He laid emphasis on taking integrated efforts to tackle dengue disease and said that it is impossible for a single institution to handle the menace.

IEDCR advisor suggested the people, suffering from fever or other health complications, must visit doctors for detection of dengue infection, saying early detection of the mosquito-borne disease through performing tests is the best way to get remedy from the disease.

According to a DGHS statement issued yesterday (Tuesday), a total of 24,000 dengue patients were detected between January 1 and July 18 while 125 deaths from dengue were recorded during the same period.

The DGHS is constantly mapping overall dengue situation and it is taking initiative accordingly to expand treatment facilities to handle the mosquito-borne disease.

As part of expansion of healthcare facilities, he said, Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) hospital at Mohakhali with 800-bed capacity has been dedicated for ensuring medical facilities to treat dengue infected people, the top official of DGHS said.

The heath service organizations is mulling setting up makeshift testing facilities to make easy the diagnosing of patients with dengue disease as early detection is very crucial for treatment.

Kabirul Bashar, professor of Department of Zoology of Jahangirnagar University, said dengue positive cases will increase in August and September as these two months are the most suitable period for breeding of Aedes mosquito.

"We need to recruit health workers, who will oversee a number of houses in particular areas in Dhaka city throughout the year," Bashar said, adding year-long monitoring system must be introduced to destroy potential breeding sources of Aedes mosquito.

Bashar, also an eminent entomologist, said dengue has emerged as a massive health burden in the country as authorities are handling the mosquito-borne disease following traditional methods.

The entomologist urged the two city corporations of Dhaka and relevant organizations to step up their efforts in a coordinated manner for controlling the dengue outbreak.

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