With 70 per cent of the dengue fever cases in the district reported from the Corporation wards, the Health department, with assistance from the civic administration, will organise a special drive in the Corporation areas to check its spread.
The decision was taken at a meeting convened by District Collector K. N. Satheesh here on Friday and attended by Mayor K. Chandrika. The plan is to organise massive cleaning, sanitation and source-reduction drive in the city Corporation wards on a war-footing, with the intersectoral coordination being supervised by the District Medical Officer, the District Programme Manager of NRHM and the Corporation's Health Officer.
“Even though 42 out of the 100 Corporation wards seem to be bearing the brunt of dengue cases, we will take up this intensive action plan across all wards. The entire Corporation area will be divided into 20 zones, with five wards under each zone,” a senior Health official says.
Squads including health workers, local people's representatives and health officials will make house visits to supervise cleaning activities in every locality and also to create awareness among the public about the need for people's cooperation in vital public health activities.
The District Collector says though dengue cases are on the rise in the Corporation areas, the situation is not alarming. But things could go out of hand when the rains intensify, if waste management and source reduction activities are not conducted in an organised and sustained manner.
The action plan chalked out by the Health department seeks the involvement of ASHAs, Anganwadi workers, NSS volunteers, police, NCC cadets and school students in carrying out intensive source reduction activities and on generating awareness among the public on the importance of continued and sustained effort to reduce vector habitats so that the vector density is lowered.
While the action plan has been put in place, there has been no mention about who will bear the expenses. The NRHM officials maintain that they have already handed over Rs.10 lakh – Rs. 10,000 for each ward-level sanitation committee – to the Corporation and that any further financial commitment will require special sanction from higher authorities.
On Friday, nine new cases of dengue were reported in the city. Four cases of malaria have also surfaced in the Poovar coastal belt.
The District Collector says all unauthorised slaughter houses will be closed down in the city. Joint squads of police, Corporation and Revenue officials will inspect the slaughter houses to ensure that the wastes are not disposed unscientifically, he adds.