That Gujjarakere in Jeppu has become a mosquito breeding ground may come into focus even as Mangalore City Corporation launched a drive on Monday to raise awareness on vector-borne diseases.

Under the drive nursing college students are going in batches to different localities identifying potential breeding spots and asking residents to ensure that the surroundings remain free from such spots.

One of seven mobile teams, together consisting of 91 students, of nursing from Father Muller Medical College (FMMC) and its School of Nursing visited 754 houses in Jeppu. Each team headed by a multipurpose health worker (MHW) participated in the Mangalore City Corporation’s Malaria Control Programme to educate people about malaria and to identify mosquito breeding grounds.

Ambika Manoj, Health Inspector, FMMC, said the students found four breeding spots indoors. She said she would tell the Health Officer about the drain near Gujjarkere lake, a mosquito breeding ground.

In one house, they spotted and emptied a plastic water tank filled with stagnating rainwater with mosquito larvae. They also cleared paintboxes filled with mosquitoes.

Sudarshan C.M., In-charge Health Officer, Mangalore City Corporation (MCC), told The Hindu, “I will check it up tomorrow morning”.

John Albuquerque, in-charge of the programme for the Jeppu Urban Health Centre, said, ““Definitely. We will visit there. I will go tomorrow, see what the problem is”. He said the drive, which started on Monday focused mainly on malaria and dengue. But the students also educated the people about filaria and chikungunya since they were all related to mosquito bites. The drive will continue till Monday.

Pinch of sugar

Sudheer Prabhu, Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, FMMC, said to prevent mosquito breeding, people must empty buckets, scrub them and dry them in sunlight before reusing them. A pinch of salt must be added to water in bowls that have sugar containers. This makes it unsuitable for mosquito breeding. Arecanut leaves must be cleared as they are breeding ground, especially for Aedes mosquitoes, which bite during the day. Stagnating water must be cleaned at least once in four days.

Sudarshan C.M., In-charge Health Officer, Mangalore City Corporation (MCC), told The Hindu, “Awareness among the public of dengue and malaria is very poor”. The MCC organised a quiz on the subject in Big Bazaar on Sunday where people’s lack of awareness was clear. He said, “Ninety per cent (of the people there) made the same mistake. They said mosquitoes breed in dirty water”. Everybody blames the Corporation and the government but it is the responsibility of people to keep their homes and surroundings free of mosquitoes. People must use mosquito nets as it can reduce risk of getting malaria by 90 per cent.

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