Special dengue control awareness programmes underway 

  • Conducted in selected MOH areas till 24 May
  • National Dengue Control Unit cites prevailing rains as increasing risk of dengue epidemic 
  • Colombo, Gampaha, Jaffna, Kurunegala, Kalutara, Puttalam, Galle, Ratnapura, Kandy top the list 

BY Buddhika Samaraweera

The Health Ministry’s National Dengue Control Unit has taken steps to implement special dengue control awareness programmes in selected Medical Officer of Health (MOH) areas from today (18) till 24 May as the spread of dengue is likely to increase due to the prevalent rains in many parts of the country.

Speaking to The Morning, the Director of the Unit, Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said: “There is a risk of an increase in the spread of the dengue epidemic due to the rains that are falling across the country. Therefore, we have planned to launch a series of dengue awareness programmes in selected MOH areas from today until 24 May.”

He also said that the programmes would be implemented with the participation of members of the Security Forces, including those from the Police and the Army. In addition, he said that the relevant MOH offices have been instructed to take immediate action to control the dengue spread in areas where there is a high risk of an increase due to rains.

According to the Ministry’s Epidemiology Unit, a total of 13,254 dengue patients have been reported during the months from January to April this year. The highest number of patients is 2,246 from the Colombo District, while the second highest number of patients is 1,861 from the Gampaha District. 

In addition, 1,205 patients have been reported from the Jaffna District, 923 from the Kurunegala District, 900 from the Kalutara District, 836 from the Puttalam District, 790 from the Galle District, 619 from the Ratnapura District, and 611 from the Kandy District. Less than 500 patients have been reported from the other Districts.

Meanwhile, pointing out that about 60 MOH areas have been designated as high risk areas in terms of the dengue epidemic, the Association of Health Entomologists stated in March this year that the Ministry should pay more attention to controlling the spread of dengue.