Prevailing upon households to take preventive measures against dengue was not a smooth sail for Manapparai municipality which carried out an awareness campaign on Monday roping in volunteers of non-government organisations, self- help groups and health department staff.

Since June, 18 dengue cases have been detected in Manapparai area, and timely treatment could save the lives of the patients. Of them, three cases were reported on Sunday.

Today, 10-member teams under the supervision of Deputy Director of Health Services Cheran fanned out to various parts of the municipality to cover the 27 wards in a day-long exercise. The mandate of the teams was to visit all households and sensitise the residents to the preventive measures by way of draining off water collected in unused tyres, discarded vessels, crevices of trees, flower pots, and water storage points.

The difficulty of the teams was in making people understand that aedes mosquitoes breed in fresh water.

At many of the households, residents simply refuse to permit the team to inspect the homes to administer temephos solution to fresh water containers. “Usually, unused tyres and vessels, where the aedes mosquitoes breed, are discarded in the backyards. After the stagnating water is drained out, we also need to fumigate the households. The windows and doors have to be kept closed for ten minutes for the fumigation to take effect. But with households not inclined to let us in, sanitary workers faced considerable difficulty in carrying out the task,” according to sanitary inspector Boopathy.

Notwithstanding the resistance, the campaign could create the necessary impact since people did realise that the situation warrants extra precaution on their part, officials said, adding that the notices distributed to them detailing the dos and don’ts would serve the desired purpose. The operation was monitored by a team consisting of District Malaria Officer Sivakumar and Municipal Commissioner In-Charge Nakkeeran.