With the onset of monsoons, water, and insect-borne diseases, such as dengue and malaria are a common sight, especially in areas that are near stagnant water. Last monsoons, Rajasthan bore the brunt of Chikungunya. This year, the desert state is half its way into the rainy season, when the hospitals started taking sporadic cases of dengue from different regions. Luckily, the Rajasthan health department is fully-equipped to fight seasonal diseases.
Recently, a health officer from Kota reported a few cases of dengue in the district. However, the doctors were able to control the situation. Taking lessons from the previous year, the health department has alerted state officers. The department has sent an advisory to all districts, requesting them to intensify fight against seasonal diseases.
Moreover, they’ve prepared ‘precautionary’ messages and SMS for creating public awareness on monsoon diseases.
In 2016, dengue caused by Aedes aegypti mosquito victimized nearly 5,200 patients in Rajasthan. The seriousness of the disease transmission can be gauged by the fact that 16 people had died due to the dengue virus. The NVBDCP (National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme) reported 2,506 ‘positive’ cases of chikungunya last year. Aedes albopictus mosquito is involved in spreading Chikungunya in human hosts.
This year, 333 cases of Chikungunya and 86 cases of dengue have been reported until July 16, 2017. Realizing the gravity of the situation, the health officers took necessary steps to control vector-borne diseases in various regions, especially the rural areas.
According to Dr. Aditya Atreya (Additional Director, Rural Health), the department will try to reduce the number of stagnant water bodies near residential colonies. They’ll release anti-larvae chemicals in the water reservoirs to prevent mosquito breeding. Introducing Gambusia fish in water bodies where the cattle drink water is a good method of preventing Malaria and Dengue. The fish is a natural predator that consumes insect larvae.
The health department has set up hatcheries for Gambusia fish in almost every district. A majority of primary and sub-health centers have developed such hatcheries. They’ll help health officers control the increasing mosquito population in the state. But that’s not all! The department is working on new strategies to prevent fatal diseases. They’re likely to restock the hospitals and health centers with medicines to combat diseases.