The onset of the south-west monsoon has further complicated the issue of garbage disposal in the city since burying or burning waste may not be feasible anymore.
The city Corporation officials are yet to come up with a solution.
“We are better equipped to deal with source reduction of mosquito breeding spots. Each Corporation circle office is given fogging machines and medicines. We prioritise areas where more cases are reported. ASHA workers and health inspectors visit each house in such areas to ensure eradication of possible breeding spots. We are helpless about waste management, especially with the abrupt transfer of our experienced health officer,” said health standing committee chairperson S. Pushpalatha.
With drains and canals clogged with garbage and weeds, rainwater forms stagnant pools. For instance, those living along the Parvathy Puthanar near Vallakadavu complain that it is impossible to be outdoors in the evenings because of mosquitoes.
“Even a water-filled coconut shell could be a mosquito breeding spot, but people do not seem to realise that,” said Kanjirampara councillor S. Vasanthakumari. In her ward, two recent dengue deaths were reported. “If the public is not pro-active, we cannot do much. A few health workers reported that when they visited houses for inspection, they were not allowed inside. Many take these visits as an insult, insisting that everything is clean indoors. There are several cases where trays placed under fridges serve as breeding spots,” she said.
Health officers continue to focus on fogging activities but are also concerned about a rise in the rodent population. No deaths have been reported so far from rat fever, but like in previous years, the civic body may distribute rat poison via residents’ associations.