Officials blame climate change and least public awareness

Dengue outbreak takes serious turn

25 September 2022


Reza Mahmud :
The viral dengue fevers continue to increase across the country, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) data showed.
Another 440 patients were hospitalized with the mosquito-borne disease in 24 hours till Saturday morning.
This year's death toll from dengue in the country rose to 50 the Friday with two more deaths reported from Dhaka.
Of the total deaths, 23 were reported from Dhaka division, 23 from Chittagong and four from the Barisal division.
Among the new patients, 325 were admitted to different hospitals in Dhaka and 115 outside the capital.
A total of 1,628 dengue patients, including 1,272 in the capital, are now receiving treatment in hospitals across the country.
On June 21, the DGHS reported the first death of the season from the viral disease.
This year, the DGHS has recorded 13,440 dengue cases and 11,762 recoveries so far.
Sources said, dengue has been a significant public health concern in Bangladesh for more than two decades. Since 2000, many people are being infected with the said disease every year. People are dying of it too.
In 2020, the first year of novel coronavirus outbreak, the dengue infection rate was a bit low. But last year, 28,429 dengue-infected people were admitted to hospitals while, 105 of them died.
Officials from two of the Dhaka South and North City Corporations have blamed climate change and least public awareness for sharp rise of the viral fever while public health experts found no implementations of their recommendations for controlling the mosquito born disease.  
DSCC and DNCC health officials said that late rain and intermittent rains are responsible for growing Aedes mosquitoes which are spreading the dengue disease.  

When contacted, Brigadier General Md. Zobaidur Rahman, Chief Health Officer, DNCC told The New Nation on Saturday, "There is no incessant rain this year in the monsoon. There are late and intermittent rain due to climate change. The intermittent rain created environment of growing more and more Aedes mosquito which is responsible for spreading dengue fevere."
The DNCC Chief Health Officer also blamed the people's least awareness about keeping stagnant clean water unused for days to produce Aedes mosquitoes in their own home.
When contacted, Dr Fazle Shamsul Kabir, Chief Health Officer (additional charge) of DSCC told The New Nation on Saturday, "The dengue cases in DSCC jurisdictions are under controlled. You see, there are only  35to 40 persons are being infected in our jurisdiction daily which is only 10 to 12 pc of total infections."
He said that two patients died so far in DSCC areas among the total fatality reached 50 across the country.
He said also that numbers of dengue patients of DSCC areas are recorded in Mugda hospital.  "But a number of patients in the hospitals are used to come from outside districts like Munshigonj, Narayangonj and others," he said.
The DSCC officials also blamed peoples' less awareness on the matter.
Meanwhile, public health experts have blamed government inaction to implementations of their recommendations in this regard.
They said, World Health Organization (WHO) sent two of their epidemiologists as advisors to the health ministry in 2017 when the dengue outbreak was upsurge in Dhaka.
The WHO officials prepared a 22-page plan titled 'Mid-Term Plan for Controlling and Preventing Aedes-Borne Dengue and Chikungunya in Bangladesh'.
Public health expert and former Director of government's disease control wing Professor Dr. Be-Nazir Ahmed said, "None of the recommendations or advices given in this regard by local and foreign experts in the past has been implemented."
When contacted, Professor Dr. M. Muzaherul Huq, former Advisor of World Health Organisation told The New Nation, "Awareness of the people and the actions of the municipal health authorities of keeping drains and canals clean and running can minimize the suffering and casualties from dengue fever."
The Professor said, "The reasons of the dengue fever are preventable. The health authorities, particularly the municipal authorities are responsible and accountable for surge of the viral fever and it's consequences." 

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