WHO recommendations need to be implemented to fight dengue before it takes an alarming turn26 September 2022 Editorial Desk
It is unfortunate that none of the recommendations on the issue of dengue forwarded by experts and World Health Organisation (WHO) in the past have been implemented. It's true that as of today we could not stop Covid-19, since its origin was unknown to us. None of the countries around the world also could prevent it. But, the same logic doesn't go for dengue. According to a report published in The New Nation on Sunday, dengue has spread to two-thirds of the districts in Bangladesh. The reason for that is we have failed to destroy the breeding sites of Aedes mosquitoes.
As per the data of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), another 440 patients were hospitalised with mosquito borne disease in 24 hours till Saturday morning. This year's death toll from dengue rose to 50. Of the deaths, 23 were reported from Dhaka division, 23 from Chattogram division and four from Barishal 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. Generally from June to November is the pick season for dengue cases.
Climate change effects, intermittent rain, pattern of weather and lack of cleanliness are the main reasons for the increase of dengue disease. However, dengue cases can easily be eradicated if the sources of Aedes mosquito can be prevented from breeding. There are two ways of preventing dengue. First, destroying the breeding sites of Aedes mosquito, which is the source of dengue. Usually, if there's water accumulated inside the room, balcony, rooftop or anywhere near the house, Aedes mosquito breeds there. Secondly, making fast treatment arrangements for the quick recovery of the dengue patients. If the first task is done properly, there is nothing to worry much about the treatment facility.
Meanwhile, public health experts have blamed the government's inaction to implementations of the WHO's recommendations. They mentioned that the WHO sent two of their epidemiologists as advisers 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'. But none of the recommendations has been executed, it was alleged.
Hence, efforts at unique diagnostic testing, epidemiological surveillance, and educational campaigns are needed to effectively mitigate this crisis. Alongside, there's no alternative to increasing awareness among citizens.