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Indian Express
08 June 2010

IN a first, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will initiate an awareness programme advising people against self–medication for fever during monsoon. In a bid to reduce the number of malaria cases and malaria related deaths, the civic body will also put up awareness posters at shops of chemists and druggists. Since a majority of malaria deaths are caused due to delayed treatment, the BMC has decided to urge citizens to visit qualified doctors.

Additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said many people, especially those living in slums, tend to avoid consulting qualified practitioners and instead opt for self–medication by buying medicines.

“They don’t realise that small fever can actually turn into malarial fever if they go for proper medication. We will therefore put up posters at medical shops urging such people to visit a BMC hospital, a dispensary or a private practitioner at the earliest,”said Mhaiskar.

These IEC (Informative, educational and communicative) posters will be pasted at cash counters of medical shops.

In an effort to curb mosquito breeding, the BMC will carry out a massive surveillance drive across all municipal premises to identify and eliminate such breeding sites through chemical engineering. Such breeding sites will be treated with chemicals before monsoon, said Mhaiskar.

In addition, the BMC will also carry out a sensitising programme for practitioners in slum areas asking them to refer serious cases to the nearby municipal hospital.

“Under the Mumbai Arogya Abhiyaan, we will also send our community health workers to construction sites every fifteen days,”said Mhaiskar.

During the monsoon last year, more than 190 lives were claimed by malarial infections in the state. Of these, 70 per cent deaths were in Mumbai and 60 per cent deaths were caused due to late diagnosis.

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