Dengue homework cards for students: South MCD’s novel way to check mosquito breeding
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has decided to rope in school students from this year for the effective execution of its plan to control the outbreak of vector-borne diseases in the city.
From April, the civic agency will distribute “dengue homework cards” to over five lakh students in government, private and MCD schools under its jurisdiction.
The cards are meant to gather information related to precautionary measures taken at students’ homes to stop the breeding of mosquitoes. SDMC officials said the data would be treated as primary information, on which the prevention plans in neighbourhoods will be executed.
Officials said the card will be also used as a tool to disseminate information about the vector-borne diseases in each household.
“It is a colourful card designed to grab the students’ attention and will be distributed in Classes 4-9 from the first week of April. To communicate properly, we have used photos showing the procedure involved in eliminating mosquito breeding such as cleaning of coolers, flower pots, eliminating standing water and spraying insecticides,” said Dr BK Hazarika, medical health officer, SDMC.
The cards will also contain details on how municipal corporations can be accessed for help.
The SDMC has tied up with school principals, who will ensure that these cards are filled up on a weekly basis between May and August, the peak months for mosquito breeding.
“Though filling up of cards will not give the students any additional marks, their teachers will disseminate information in a way that the task is taken seriously. Students will need to get these cards signed by their parents every week,” said official.
The official said members from SDMC’s health team can be present during the interactive sessions with kids, if the schools ask. Officials said SDMC had tried to introduce the project last year as well, but due to the delay in collecting information from schools, it got deferred.
“But this year, things are implemented in formatted manner. We have gathered details of private and government schools and got the approval from their principals to support the programme,” said the official.
Last year, though the number of chikungunya cases in the city was much less than the number of cases recorded in 2016, there was significant spike in recorded cases of dengue.
A total of 9,214 dengue cases were recorded till mid-December, of which 4,704 dengue patients were from Delhi. This is in comparison with a total of 4,305 cases recorded during the same period in 2016, of which only 2,966 patients were Delhi residents. The number of deaths due to dengue in both years was the same — 10.
“Though the outbreak of vector-borne diseases depends on factors like rain and humidity, we are leaving no stone unturned to control the spread of disease from beginning of this year,” said the official.
This year, till the end of February, three cases of chikungunya, nine cases dengue and two cases of malaria have been reported.
In comparison, 34 cases of chikungunya, six cases of dengue and four malaria cases were reported in 2017 till this time. No cases of dengue and chikungunya and seven cases of malaria were reported in the same period in 2016.
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