As many as 610 domestic breeding checkers or mazdoors are being appointed in the town and village panchayats of Coimbatore to prevent the spread of dengue during the North East Monsoon season.

S. Somasundaram, Deputy Director of Health Services, told The Hindu that the Department of Public Health would train the mazdoors in undertaking breeding source reduction activities.

A total of 370 workers have been appointed in 37 town panchayats, with 10 for each town panchayat, during the first week of November. The village panchayats have begun the recruitment process and are expected to complete the process within a week or so. The 229 Village Panchayats in Coimbatore district have been divided into 12 blocks with 20 mazdoors to be deployed per block.

The mazdoors would be tasked with carrying out mass cleaning campaign in the backyards of houses to remove old utensils and worn-out tyres. Accumulation of rainwater in tyres provides breeding space to both Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry the dengue-causing virus and Aedes albopictus that spreads the chikungunya virus.

An interpersonal communication campaign was also under way in rural areas to create awareness about dengue prevention measures.

The Deputy Director said that the number of dengue cases in Coimbatore district was lower this year compared to the preceding year, and no dengue-related fatality has been reported so far.

The Coimbatore Corporation had also been directed to engage more mazdoors to conform to the population-mazdoor ratio mandated by the State Government.

Further, Dr. Somasundaram said that no A (H1N1) flu cases, or chikungunya cases had been reported in Coimbatore district so far.

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