New Delhi: Union health minister J.P. Nadda has written to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal emphasising on the need for effective implementation of preventive and control measures to contain the spread of vector-borne diseases, including dengue and malaria.
There should be strengthening of vector-control activities with deployment of trained personnel and availability of logistics in municipal corporations, said Nadda in his letter, which comes in the wake of concerns over an expected increase in dengue cases in the national capital during the monsoon season.
The Union minister said that the Delhi government should ensure all identified laboratories are equipped with diagnostic facilities for testing of dengue, chikungunya and malaria and other vector borne diseases.
Nadda asked Kejriwal to ensure adequate number of beds, drugs and other relevant logistics in hospitals and to ensure that “nobody is denied treatment at the health facilities".
“The Delhi government can also utilise the services of master trainers from the ministry for training of clinicians on case management," Nadda said in the letter.
The Delhi government should also carry out Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign with involvement of the community, including local bodies, resident welfare associations (RWAs) and schools to ensure people’s participation in preventing mosquito breeding and for taking precaution, he said.
“It has been observed from the reports received by us that the number of dengue and malaria cases in Delhi is on the rise in recent times," Nadda said in his letter.
The Union minister had reviewed the preparatory activities with the principal secretaries of 20 high-burden states, including Delhi, on 27 April.
On 12 May, Nadda held a discussion with senior officials of the Delhi government and municipal corporations on the situation and further arrangements for preventing dengue and other vector-borne diseases in Delhi.
“We expect cases of dengue to shoot up drastically once we have clear weather in Delhi and the national capital region. Post rains, the weather becomes conducive for mosquito breeding. The Aedes mosquito thrives in hot, humid and high temperature, which is anywhere between 20 degree Celsius to 30 degree Celsius," said Aman Vij, internal medicine specialist, Venkateshwar Hospital, Dwarka, New Delhi.
“The safest defence is to sleep under bed nets and when outdoors wear clothes that cover your whole body. The dengue mosquito generally bites the lower part of the body and hence we strongly recommend wearing socks and keeping the lower limbs covered. There is no vaccine to protect against dengue fever and the only way to prevent is to avoid being bitten by them," Vij said.
The national capital has recorded at least 29 cases of malaria in the first three weeks of July, according to a municipal report. At least 43 dengue cases have been recorded in this season with 13 in July. At least 18 cases of chikungunya have also been reported this month, taking total of this season to 34.