Beginning January, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi plans to set up a surveillance team to track and contain mosquito breeding and prevent dengue, chikungunya and malaria in 2011.
“Till now, we planned preventive measures only after April. Since breeding of mosquitoes has already begun by then, containing diseases becomes nearly impossible,” said Dr VK Monga, chairman, public health committee, MCD. “This time, we will start in January, which will not give mosquitoes chance to breed.”
The civic agency has sought help of World Health Organisation, Indian Council for Medical Research, National Institute of Malaria Research and National Centre for Disease Control, along with Delhi government, to devise ways to solve the problem.
A surveillance team, which will have a representative from each of the organisations, will meet next week to start work on the project. The team will look at areas from where maximum cases of a disease are reported, and maximum mosquito breeding is found.
“We plan to have a couple of workshops to formulate guidelines after analysing the disease-pattern data. By December end, all stakeholders will be given area- and problem-wise responsibilities. We will further involve Delhi Jal Board, sanitation department, horticulture department and engineering staff, among others, at the ground level,” he added. He said accountability will be a major factor in dividing the work.
In case of laxity, “there could be harsher penalties”, said a senior MCD official, requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
“We are looking at uprooting the problem, which means we do not allow larvae to breed. And that is possible only if plan much in advance,” said the official. “Dengue outbreak in the entire Okhla area could have been prevented if we had prepared and worked better. We don’t want to leave anything to chance next time.”