Two Sri Lankan refugee camps are under scanner

Dengue fever surveillance in Madurai district has been stepped up by public health officials following the heavy rains that lashed recently.

The Health Department in coordination with civic officials identified “high risk dengue-prone pockets,” both in the Corporation limits and rural areas, so that adequate precautionary measures can be taken in time to prevent outbreak of mosquito-borne diseases and water stagnation.

Based on previous years' data, the health officials have initiated steps in places where more dengue fever cases were reported.

Latha Freeda Joan, District Malaria Officer, Madurai District, told The Hindu on Saturday that a coordinated strategy is in place with particular focus on clearing mosquito-breeding sources.

Two Sri Lankan refugee camps in Madurai district — at Thiruvadhavur and Aanaiyur — are under scanner since they are under high risk category for dengue fever.

Among the rural/urban localities that are under strict surveillance are Kallandhiri, Samayanallur, Vellalur, Villapuram, Anuppanadi, Sellur, Thathaneri and Arittapatti.

“After the recent rains, we had to step up the fever surveillance. It is not alarming right now but we cannot take chances because fever cases will be usually high after the rains,” said V. Shanmugasundaram, Deputy Director of Health Services, Madurai District.

He said that chlorination of drinking water is being monitored closely under the supervision of block-level teams.

All the block medical officers were instructed to supervise public health activities in their areas and have a strict vigil during this post-rain period.

The District Malaria Officer, meanwhile said that the number of confirmed dengue cases had come down in Madurai district this year compared to previous year. From January to December 2010, the district had 218 dengue cases.

“But, we had only 38 dengue cases so far this year in last 10 months. That was because our surveillance, testing and timely intervention had improved substantially through Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme,” Ms. Joan, who is an entomologist, said.

In the rural areas, the Primary Health Centres have been asked to utilise the Patient Welfare Society funds for disease-control activity. Hospital-level surveillance too has been strengthened, including the Government Rajaji Hospital and Government Hospitals at taluk level, besides the PHCs where suspected cases were quickly attended to.

Also, the three leading private hospitals in Madurai city — Apollo Speciality Hospitals, Vadamalayan Hospitals and the Meenakshi Mission Hospital — do report the cases of dengue fever and other major diseases on a daily basis to public health surveillance authorities.

Temporary mazdoors will be employed to carry out anti-larval work in all areas for mosquito control.

Testing facility for vector-borne diseases is available and has been on alert at the microbiology department of Madurai Medical College, she said.

Keywords: Dengue

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