To avoid a dengue scare next monsoon, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has announced a plan to train at least one person from every residential building to monitor mosquito-control activities.
The volunteers, who will be selected by the insecticide department, will be taught to detect the larvae of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which is responsible for the transmission of the infection. The BMC feels the volunteer will have better access to homes in buildings, where residents generally bar municipal officials from entering.
Last year, Mumbai reported 861 cases of dengue, with 12 dengue-related deaths. “Last year, we observed that a majority of breeding was found in homes of those infected. So it is important to take note of such mosquito-breeding sites,” said Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer, BMC.
The volunteers will be designated as mosquito-breeding detectors. The insecticide department has prepared letters of appeal which will be sent to each society in the city. “They can designate any number of people from their society, whose names they will have to send to the ward pest control office. Our officers will train them on their premises,” said R Naringrekar, insecticide officer, BMC.
Based on the experience in the past three years, the insecticide department has created a list of the most probable breeding sites in apartments and buildings. “The person will only have to inspect his own building with the help of a check list every week. He will have to make sure there is no water collected for more than seven days,” said Narigrekar, adding a team of 245 inspectors is enough to train citizens.
The civic body has also requested office and shopping malls to have personnel dedicated to look for breeding sites. Officials from the civic body said that if dengue transmission is not curtailed this year, the chance of complications and higher mortality will only rise.