Dengue is the most dangerous disease and number of deaths are taking place in Mumbai and suburbs. There is a sense of concern, even panic, over the outbreak of Dengue in the Metro city and in several parts of the city, more so from Pune scares people throughout the year.
From all over the state, more than 10000 cases have been detected and treated in various government and private hospitals. Considering the cases of dengue, it happens more during monsoon season but of late it continues even after the rains. This shows system failure and rings alarm and have not been heeded and that we are content to take symptomatic action, reactively, after the disaster has occurred. For a city like Mumbai health care is of utmost important and the hospitals will have to gear up well in advance to control the menace of mosquitoes.
A team from the Central Government, Ministry of Health will have to visit the city and suburbs to find an amicable solution to the permanent problem facing Mumbai. It is the duty of the Ministry to assess the epidemic form of dengue spreading across the state and provide assistance and the ways and means to address this health hazard in a most medical way. The health support is the need of the hour to curb the menace. Thus, everything has run according to script. But when it all subsides, we will go back to doing nothing to avert recurrence and have a lasting effect. Funds are sectioned to prevent dengue but the ultimate aim to eradicate the disease or the results are not forthcoming.
Dengue fever is a disease caused by a family of viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes. The virus is contracted from the bite of a striped mosquito that has previously bitten an infected person. The mosquito flourished during rainy seasons, breeding in water-filled flower pots, plastic bags, and containers. Poor sanitation at the household level and inadequate capacity of the public sanitation system provide ideal conditions for the vector to thrive.
The dengue is carried by mosquito that breeds in stagnant clean water, it does not breed in dirty water. Urban crowding multiples the breeding sites manifold. When population growth outstrips an already inadequate infrastructure, sanitation facilities are unable to cope with the increased population. Widespread neglect of elementary sanitation practises, by the educated and illiterate alike, contributes to open water storage, water puddling and collection of rubbish, like used tyres, old vehicles and plastics, creating a perfect environment for disease causing mosquitoes to breed in.
The problem with dengue is both prevention and cure are fraught with difficulties. Prevention is currently limited to vector control measures, and there being no effective vaccines. These examples show that government action can be effective and give lasting protection only if it’s diagnostic, prevention, addressing the problems, aimed at absolute cleanliness and rising institutional efficiency. Observance of safe sanitation practises is the ultimate solution and it is the duty of responsible citizens in the interests of their own health and that of others.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)