New Delhi: A research paper by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) published in the latest issue of Journal of Infection and Public Health has stated that the annual number of dengue fever cases in India is many times higher than it is officially reported.
“Evidently the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) captures only 0.35% of the clinically diagnosed dengue cases in India. This under reporting would play a major role in the government’s decision-making," the research paper stated.
“Underestimating of the disease in India encumbers its people from taking preventive measures, discourages efforts to ensnare the sources of the disease and deliberates efforts for vaccine research. Reporting of dengue cases to the government should be made mandatory, electronic reporting systems should be developed and used at all areas, the government dengue surveillance data should include age-stratified data of incidence, hospitalisation rates and deaths," it further said.
In order to avert under-reporting of dengue cases, the ministry of health and family welfare on Tuesday asked the states and union territories to declare dengue as a notifiable disease. Union health minister J.P. Nadda said that his ministry aims to improve reporting of the disease and for taking preventive measures in the affected areas by notifying it.
The health minister on Tuesday directed the officers to conduct regular supervisory visits to the states and various hospitals for assessing the situation and preparedness. He also convened a review meeting for the preparedness for prevention and control of vector borne diseases such as dengue, malaria, chikungunya. “More than 13 advisories have been sent to all states as early as January for strengthening their preparedness before the vector-borne disease season," said Nadda.