BMC ups fight against malaria | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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BMC ups fight against malaria

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is going all out to combat the malaria menace. The BMC will give construction workers health cards and screen them for the illness every 15 days because construction sites, where there are tanks of stagnant water, have been identified as high-risk zones.

mumbai Updated: Jul 21, 2010 01:15 IST
Bhavika Jain

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is going all out to combat the malaria menace.

The BMC will give construction workers health cards and screen them for the illness every 15 days because construction sites, where there are tanks of stagnant water, have been identified as high-risk zones.

“Construction workers move from one site to the other. These cards will have their entire medical history,” a BMC official said.

There have been 104 cases of malaria in Mumbai so far. A 45-year-old man died of the illness on Sunday.

Questions about what the BMC is doing to control the spread of malaria also came up in the civic general body meeting on Tuesday. Leader of the House Sunil Prabhu raised the issue. “The BMC must take the help of all community-based organisations to help keep the city clean so that cases of malaria will drop,” said Prabhu.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said civic hospitals are planning to start evening Out-Patient Departments to handle the flood of patients.

She added that areas from which most deaths have been reported are on the surveillance department’s priority list. The department will visit the sites once a month and collect blood samples from those areas. The BMC has identified wards E, F/south, G/north, G/south, L ward and M-east as vulnerable. These include areas such as Dadar, Prabhadevi, Matunga, Worli, Mankhurd and Kurla where the rate of construction activity is high. Stagnant water at construction sites is a breeding ground for mosquitoes causing malaria.

Mhaiskar said the BMC will launch an awareness program by next week. “There are more than 40 lakh houses in the city and there can be sites for malaria-causing mosquitoes to breed in these. This campaign will help spread awareness,” Mhaiskar said.

The BMC recently appointed former state entomologist Ashok Bhosale as a consultant to help it chalk out an effective action plan against malaria.

“He has been working with the state government for the last 25 years trying to control malaria. We requested him to help us tackle the problem,” said a BMC official.