17 July 2010
By Umesh Isalkar
Mosquitoes Breeding In Stored, Stagnant Water The Cause; PMC To Fumigate Areas Twice A Week
Figure This Out
The Pune Municipal Corporation’s health department has recorded 26 cases of malaria and 14 of dengue barely a month after the monsoon set in.
A private accredited laboratory confirmed 55 dengue and 22 malaria cases since June. "We have screened over 220 patients, of whom 55 were confirmed with dengue," said Avanti Golwilkar, managing director of Golwilkar Metropolis.
However, the PMC–run hospitals reported 12 suspected dengue cases in June and two in July so far. Last year, there were 12 dengue cases in June and 25 in July.
Similarly, the civic hospitals recorded 15 cases of malaria in June and 11 in July this year. Last year, 16 cases were reported in June and 11 in July.
Dengue, predominantly an urban phenomenon, saw a staggering 177 per cent rise last year in the state when 2,309 cases were recorded in 2009–10 as against 831 in 2008–09. Most were from Pune, Pimpri–Chinchwad, Nagpur, Kolhapur and Ahmednagar.
Almost 70 per cent of dengue cases registered between April 2009 and March 2010 were from the state’s urban areas. Moreover, Maharashtra registered almost a three–fold rise in laboratory–confirmed dengue cases.
Mosquitoes are the prime cause of both ailments. Sadashiv Patole, head of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) insect control department, said, "A record of mosquito breeding sites is maintained by a staff of 250 workers throughout the year to contain them. An increase in breeding grounds inside homes is also responsible for rise in dengue cases."
Sharad Agarkhedkar, president of the city chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, "The only way to control or prevent transmission of dengue is to combat the growth of vector mosquitoes that breed mostly in earthenware, metal drums and concrete cisterns used for domestic water storage as well as discarded plastic food containers, old tyres and other items that collect rainwater. Proper disposal of solid waste and improved water storage practices, which includes covering containers to prevent access to egg–laying female mosquitoes, should be followed."
Meanwhile, the civic body has decided to carry out fogging and spraying of insecticides in all the wards at least twice a week.
Additional municipal commissioner M S Devnikar on Friday said, "With the number of complaints regarding malaria and dengue rising in the city, there was a demand from elected representatives to increase fogging and spraying. We have decided to accept their demand. "
Apart from spraying pesticides in water bodies near residential areas, fogging machines will be put to use in housing colonies. It will contain the spread of mosquitoes , Devnikar said.
Earlier, BJP corporators Dilip Umbarkar and Jyotsna Sardeshpande told TOI, "Some NGOs were against frequent spraying and fogging of pesticides on the grounds that it was harmful. However, due to the rising cases of dengue and malaria, we urged the PMC to go ahead with the same."
Devnikar said the PMC was keeping a ‘close watch’ on the situation and initiating steps to curb spread of any kind of disease in the city. "The health department has been put on alert and civic hospitals have been instructed to be equipped if the number of patients rises in the near future," Devnikar added.
The PMC health officials held a departmental meeting to take stock of the situation and directed its officers to keep the department abreast of the daily number of patients in civic hospitals.
Keep Mosquitoes Away
- Remove water collected in plates under potted plants. Avoid using plates
- Loosen the soil in the pots to prevent accumulation of water
- Do not keep tray or receptacles under or on top of air–conditioners
- Change water in flower vases daily. Clean and scrub the inside of vases
- Prevent Accumulation Of Water