The intensive anti-dengue campaign launched by the Health Department and the Corporation authorities in the city, which completes its third phase tomorrow, is ending on a positive note with good participation from schools as well as a section of the public, Health officials said.
“Fever cases are generally showing a downward trend in the district but the effect of the intensive campaign would be evident only by next month. As intermittent rains are continuing, the challenge would be to sustain the vector control activities,” a senior official said.
The school students and the ASHA workers have been doing excellent work and have covered nearly 2 lakh houses in the city for source reduction activities in the past three weeks. Several areas where high vector density was found initially would be visited again in the next week.
When the campaign was kicked off, Vallakkadavu and Manacaud were some of the most dengue-affected areas in the city with more than 24 cases each. The vector control activities in these areas have been effective to a large extent as no fresh cases of dengue were reported from these areas in the past three weeks when the campaign was on.
More medical camps were organised on Sunday – essentially fever treatment clinics – in designated areas in the city. Nearly 2,000 people attended the clinics. As a drastic reduction in platelet count is taken to be one of the main symptoms of dengue, platelet testing had been arranged in all the clinics.
The clinics have so far helped detect 12 persons with fever, whose platelet count had fallen to less than one lakh (per microlitre of blood) and referred them to hospitals for re-testing and admission as inpatient. One person whose platelet count was down to 28,000 had to be hospitalised immediately for plasma transfusion.
Vector density down
Health officials said that a lot of effort had been put into the campaign to bring down vector density, which had reached an explosive situation in many of the 86 Corporation wards, especially the 211 urban slums.
There are so many limitations in organising such campaigns in an urban area where residents are wary of letting in strangers into their houses or even the compound. Even though all ASHA workers have identity cards, they are not allowed entry into many apartments.
“Every student had been asked to visit four houses in his/her neighbourhood to identify and destroy vector breeding sites. We chose school students to be our main field activists because children are the only ones who might be allowed access into houses,” Dr. Sunil said.