Chandigarh health department gears up to combat vector-borne diseases, well in advance
With a target to restrict vector-borne diseases from spreading, the UT health department has geared up to take stringent actions against defaulters this season.punjab Updated: Apr 25, 2018 11:59 IST
Much before the onset of monsoon, larvae of mosquitoes (aedes aegypti) – responsible for spreading dengue, chikungunya – have been found at two locations: Forest nursery in Sector 29 and old depot at Manimajra. In the wake of such findings, four challans and over 200 notices were also issued to city residents after mosquitogenic conditions were found prevailing in their domain.
Five cases of dengue and two cases of Chikungunya have already been reported in the city, though officials concerned claim them to be old ones, which were reported now.
With a target to restrict vector-borne diseases from spreading, the UT health department has geared up to take stringent actions against defaulters this season.
In the past two years, over 1,000 dengue cases had been reported in the city. Talking about what new steps health department will take this year, Dr Upendrajeet Singh Gill, assistant director (malaria) said, “We are stressing on strengthening the field work.”
He said, “The department is underpinning the information education communication (IEC) activities, wherein rallies will be conducted, pamphlets will be distributed and health talks will be organised. The purpose is to educate public about how to keep surroundings clean and stop mosquito breeding in and around their homes.”
Focus on building stronger teams
The city has an assistant director (malaria), an anti-malaria officer, a state epidemiologist, an entomologist and a training consultant. In addition to them, there are around 270 beldars and multi-purpose health workers.
“Every year, we hire people (beldars and multi-purpose heath workers) for the season. This time, their selection process is quite stringent as we are not recruiting anyone, but people who are physically fit and have basic educational and technical abilities,” he said.
“Every person is interviewed by a committee and the process will get completed by the end of the month,” he added.
The three-zone division
Dr Gill said the their focus will be on strict field monitoring too.
“Chandigarh has been divided into three zones, and each officer has been given charge for his/her areas. We have equally divided vulnerable areas — Manimajra, Hallomajra, Mauli Jagran, Indira Colony, Burail, Dhanas, Ram Darbar and Dadumajra,” he said.
Around 270 staffers will be visiting over 2.5 lakh households in Chandigarh in the upcoming months to generate awareness and take stock of prevailing conditions.
When asked how will these practices make a difference this time despite being in place for the past couple of years, he said, “Every officer has been delegated duties and that too, in writing. Earlier, nobody used to take ownership but now, responsibilities have been fixed and the officers concerned will be accountable for anything that goes wrong,” he said.
Apart from our core team, 200 auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) and 30 persons from engineering department have also been trained. Sanitary staff of the municipal corporation (MC) and private companies will be sensitised on May 4, while 200 schoolteachers will also undergo similar training next month.
More challans underway
Last year, as many as 3,534 notices, 42 show-cause notices and 18 challans were issued. And this year too, four challans and over 200 notices have already been issued so far. All these fines have been slapped on defaulters in the Sector-38 motor market.
“More challans will be issued if people fail to cooperate with us,” Dr Gill said.
Anti-malaria officer Dr Gaurav Aggarwal informed that last year, majority of larvae were found in underground water containers (haudis) and overhead tanks.
Majority of cases reported over the past three years in the city are of dengue, followed by malaria and chikungunya.