Dengue eradication programmes; President orders immediate action

Within the span of five months, a total of 19,940 dengue cases were reported across the country with the highest prevalence of dengue recorded from the Regional Directors of Health Services (RDHS) of Colombo (2,841), Trincomalee (2,213), Batticaloa (2,121), Jaffna (1,829), Gampaha (1,668), Galle (1,054), Kalutara (1,026), Kalmunai (838), Ratnapura (752), and Kurunegala (655), the Epidemiology Unit reported.

By the end of May, dengue cases increased to 920, with Kandy (156), Ratnapura (135), and Colombo (116) recording the highest numbers of patients for that month.

For the first quarter of 2020, the total number of cases stood at 18,544, while in the first quarter of 2019, the total number of cases stood at 13,148.

Considering this alarming number of cases, President Gotabaya Rajapkasa on Monday (1) called for a meeting to discuss the dengue eradication programmes that are in place at present.

The President urged that the health authorities in collaboration with the local government authorities provide the necessary instruction to the environmental police units of each area to supervise the eradication programmes which are to commence this month.

Schools, hospitals, religious sites, construction sites, and state and private institutes are to be cleaned in the coming weeks in order to eliminate any mosquito breeding grounds in their surroundings.

Should a person contract dengue fever, the regional medical officers (RMOs) and public health inspectors (PHIs) are to be informed immediately after reporting it to a government or private hospital. Also, the area the patient resided in is to be cleaned and fumigated without delay.

Governors and local government leaders were requested to meet once a week to advise officials to review the health committee’s plans and to adopt methods to successfully eradicate dengue.