June 25, Colombo: State Minister of Health Dr. Seetha Arambepola, Chairperson of the Dengue Control Expert Committee, said that a special cleanliness program for dengue control will be undertaken in the Colombo Municipal Council area next weekend, and the public is requested to remain at home and support it.
The State Minister added that a week of larval inspections covering the Colombo and Gampaha districts will follow the initiative.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe recently took decisive action to combat the spread of Covid-19 and Dengue in the country by establishing both a Ministerial Committee and an Expert Committee. To facilitate the work of the Experts Committee, nine Provincial sub-Committees have been established. The involvement of these sub-Committees aims to enhance collaboration and coordination at the provincial level in the fight against Covid-19 and Dengue.
By designating specific days to inspect schools, places of worship, Government and private institutions, commercial premises, and abandoned plots as places where dengue mosquitoes breed the most, this program will be implemented in the Western Province. Meanwhile, other provinces are urged to identify their own challenges and implement specific programs, according to State Minister Dr. Seetha Arambepola.
State Minister Dr. Seetha Arambepola stated this at the press conference held today (25) at the Presidential Media Centre on the control of the spread of dengue.
The state minister mentioned that more than 47,000 dengue cases have been reported since January and 50% of them are reported from the Western Province. The minister mentioned that the spread of dengue disease has increased with climate change and if this situation is not controlled, the dengue disease can become fatal similar to Covid.
State Minister of Health, Dr. Seetha Arambepola, who spoke further, said:
“The spread of dengue has become a global situation. In the first half of this year alone, more than 47,000 dengue cases and 27 dengue deaths have been reported.
In view of this situation, President Ranil Wickremesinghe recently appointed both a Ministerial Committee and an Expert Committee to combat the spread of Covid-19 and Dengue in the country. Nine Provincial sub-Committees were established to facilitate the work of the Experts Committee.
This Committee comprises Mr. S. Janaka Sri Chandraguptha – Secretary, Ministry of Health, Ms. M Kodippiliarachchi – Additional Secretary (Local Government & Provincial Councils), Dr. Asela Gunawardena – Director General of Health Services, Dr. S. M. Arnold – Deputy Director General (Public Health Services – I), Dr. Samitha Ginige – Director, Epidemiology Unit, Dr. Nalin Ariyarathne – Director, National Dengue Control Unit, Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama – Senior Consultant Physician, Dr. Lakkumar Fernando – Pediatrician, Prof. Neelika Malavige – Professor, Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine and Dr. Upul Dissanayake – Consultant Physician, as members of this Committee.
Preventing the breeding of the mosquito and preventing the mosquito from getting the virus is very important in controlling dengue. The vector can be reduced by identifying the places where the water collects during the rainy season and preventing the breeding of mosquitoes. People need to be educated in order to lower their risk of getting bitten by a mosquito. In densely populated areas, the chance of dengue transmission from one mosquito to a large number of people is high.
A series of urgent programs are being implemented through the Dengue Control Sub-Committees appointed in the provinces. In the coming months, we will try our best not to reach the capacity of the patients who will be admitted to the hospitals.
Accordingly, a special cleanliness program will be implemented in the city of Colombo with the support of the Tri forces during the next weekend. The National Dengue Control Unit (NDCU), Provincial Department of Health Services and the Local Government authorities will also join and the office of the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) will make relevant notifications. Accordingly, I request the people to stay at home this coming weekend and support it.
After that program, schools, religious places, government and private institutions, commercial premises as well as abandoned plots of land where dengue mosquitoes are most likely to be bred will be inspected for larvae on specific days in Colombo and Gampaha districts for a week.
At the same time, specific programs are being implemented in all other provinces as per the instructions of the Provincial Health Officer.
The dengue patient should be aware of this and take precautions to prevent spreading the illness to others. Especially at this time, the media can play a significant part in that.
Control of dengue focuses more on primary health. This circumstance arises every year, thus in my opinion, widespread awareness-raising efforts at the school level are necessary. And I believe that this is a special circumstance that should be included in the educational curriculum.”
Meanwhile Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama while joining the ‘Katha’ program produced by the President’s Media Division noted;
The Ministry of Health is working to adopt a number of strategies to prevent the spread of dengue in the upcoming period. Implementing dengue control measures by the Government, the private sector, and the public is also crucial. The possibility of controlling dengue fever exists, if this program is sustained for a considerable amount of time. With the upcoming monsoon season, there is a risk that dengue cases would increase. In general, the months of June and July see an upsurge in dengue patients. Therefore, all parties should work with utmost care to control the dengue virus.
Dengue can affect any age group. 75% of reported cases involve people older than 15 years. Nowadays, young people are more likely to contract the disease than small children, despite the fact that it used to spread among them more frequently. Dengue is a virus. As a result, there is a strong likelihood that dengue can be easily transmitted via mosquitos from one infected person to another.
Eliminating mosquito breeding places is vital. The dengue mosquito typically exists in in areas where clean water gathers. Anywhere, including waste plastic, used tires, flower pots, coconut and king coconut shells, serves as a breeding ground for dengue mosquitoes. Such areas should receive as much attention as possible, and should be removed immediately. In addition, precautions should be made to avoid mosquito bites.
It is important to take precautions against mosquito bites in order to avoid spreading the dengue virus to others. For that, the body might be covered with clothing. Additionally, there are mosquito repellents. It can also control mosquito bites. But none of these approaches is completely effective.
The Local Government authorities, Public Health Inspectors, Health Departments, and Security Forces have all stepped in to help control the disease by destroying mosquito breeding grounds. Special programs are being implemented focusing on the provinces where dengue is spreading most. Within the coming week, a special initiative will begin, with a focus on the Colombo and Gampaha districts, where the majority of cases are reported. There will be a clean-up of the garbage in such areas. It has been agreed to provide the labor contribution of Army for this purpose.
Even if water is removed from containers full of water, mosquito larvae can remain. Therefore, they should be cleaned thoroughly and water should not be allowed to collect again. The typical lifespan of a mosquito is five to six days. Therefore, weekly cleaning of the surroundings is crucial. Keeping your surroundings clean is a must. Controlling dengue cannot be done by one person alone. And it cannot be done only by a few institutions. This requires the support of everyone in the country.
A person suffering from dengue should not work hard. Rest is essential. If not, the chances of complications are high. Any fever patient should only receive Paracetamol, it has been advised. Paracetamol may occasionally fail to entirely bring down fever. However patients should not be afraid in such cases. Having a fever does not escalate to a major issue. Complications can be minimized through physical rest. Meanwhile, it is vital that fluid intakes are given to patients to keep them hydrated. King coconut water, orange and lime juice, and Jeevani are generally recommended for this purpose.