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BMC rethinks anti-dengue strategy

With two deaths reported in a single family in less than four days due to dengue, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to pull up its socks and call for more men to join the battle against the dreaded disease.


Mosquito menace: Besides fumigation at ward levels to control the rising cases of dengue, the BMC will also conduct door-to-door campaigns to create awareness amongst the people and print pamphlets that provide precautionary measures to be taken. File pic

BMC authorities claiming that dengue has become a nation-wide problem this year, have decided to involve staff from departments apart from the Vector Control Committee to ensure that no loopholes are left for dengue larvae to breed in the city. Though BMC officials do not admit that their previous strategy to combat dengue has been unsuccessful, they admit that there would now be a new intensified approach to the problem.

According to the data provided by the BMC, the number of dengue cases has gone up this year as compared to previous years. Both — the number of dengue occurrences and dengue deaths — have gone up this year across the state. In 2011, the total cases of dengue in Maharashtra were 1,138 while this year, the numbers up till November have added up to 1,731 cases.

On December 7, MiD DAY had reported about the discrepancy between the number of cases recorded by the BMC and an NGO in the city (‘Is dengue really on the decline in Mumbai?’). So far, the BMC had claimed that most of the cases of dengue were reported from non-slum areas. As per BMC data, most of the cases were reported from the Mumbai wards that house corporate offices.

As the Aedes mosquito is a day-biter, BMC officials believe that these mosquitoes mostly bite people at their workplace. According to experts, dengue-spreading mosquitoes breed in domestic areas around stagnant water. Hence, the BMC had been requesting residents to ensure to that there is no water accumulation in their surroundings. They also started fumigation at ward levels to control the rising cases of dengue.

Despite the BMC’s ‘contact tracing’ campaign under which a particular area in a ward is immediately fumigated after detection of the disease, there were cases being reported across the city. BMC authorities now claim that the National Vector Control Board is going deep into the matter to find the exact reason behind the dengue cases still rising across the nation.

Additional Municipal Commissioner, Manisha Mhaiskar, said, “Dengue is a nationwide phenomenon affecting various states across the nation. This year, the total number of dengue cases in Tamil Nadu is 9,249 and West Bengal has reported 6,225 cases as compared to 1,731 cases in Maharashtra. Though our current campaign has not failed, we will be intensifying our efforts to fight dengue across the Mumbai.”

She added, “We are expanding our campaign to slum-like areas where there are possible breeding grounds for these mosquitoes. We are going to involve staff from departments apart from the Vector Control Committee in our efforts to control dengue. For example, when a official from the licensing department goes for inspection, he will also check for possible breeding grounds of dengue mosquitoes in that area.”

The BMC will also conduct door-to-door campaigns to create awareness amongst the people and print pamphlets that provide precautionary measures to be taken. Their target will include 6-10 lakh people living in slum-like areas, where there are water-filling spots. 

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