According to the District Vector Borne Disease Control Officer, Arun Kumar S.B., 42 personnel from the Mangalore City Corporation and 30 from the primary health centres of the district would be involved in the drive that involves house-to-house visits.

The district administration, the Mangalore City Corporation, and the District Health and Family Welfare Department have jointly launched a month-long drive to eradicate malaria and dengue in the city.

According to the District Vector Borne Disease Control Officer, Arun Kumar S.B., 42 personnel from the Mangalore City Corporation and 30 from the primary health centres of the district would be involved in the drive that involves house-to-house visits.

Apart from fever surveillance and blood smear collection, the teams would impress upon people about ways to reduce the sources that help in breeding mosquitoes that transmit malaria and dengue. Similar intense drive was conducted in 2008 and it had helped in bringing down the number of victims affected by the two diseases, Dr. Kumar said. The corporation had assigned a private agency the task of mobilising the 42 persons necessary for the drive, Commissioner Harish Kumar K. told The Hindu.

Dr. Kumar said the drive would focus on 38 of the 60 wards in the city where cases of malaria and dengue had been reported. Personnel would be visiting 360 construction sites and conduct screening of all the workers there. The blood smears collected by the personnel visiting 50 houses a day would be tested the same day and results given the next day, he said. A majority of the victims of malaria had been from the city. According to District Vector Borne Disease Control Office, 625 persons were detected for malaria in May, of which 550 were from Mangalore city. As many as 2,441 cases of malaria had been found in the district in the first five months of this year. In the last six months, there had been 101 cases of dengue of which 36 were from Mangalore, a note from Vector Borne Disease Control Programme said.

Launching the drive, Deputy Speaker N. Yogish Bhat expressed the need for steps to make the city clean and safe, which would boast tourism in the region. He said there was a need to impose a penalty of Rs. 1 lakh against builders who failed to take steps to prevent breeding of mosquitoes at construction sites. The former Minister J. Krishna Palemar and District Health Officer Sri Rangappa spoke.

Mr. Kumar said the 42 personnel from the corporation would continue the work for one year. He said the civic body was holding a meeting of builders, hoteliers, and other stakeholders to reopen Malaria Cell. This cell, which would comprise doctors, would advise stakeholders about steps needed to prevent the spread of malaria. A cell comprising doctors Srinivas Kakkilaya and Shataram Baliga had been opened in 2002.

More In: Mangalore