Dengue fever, which was well under control in 2012, is now posing problems in urban and semi-urban areas due to change in water storage practices among other development activities said N. Sivasailam, Principal Secretary to Health and Family Welfare Department, here on Monday.

He was speaking at the World Health Day celebrations on Monday. The World Health Organization has framed a slogan ‘Small bite, Big threat’ and has urged countries to take steps to focus on vector control, better provision of safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

Mr. Sivasailam said the State government would extend the diagnosis of dengue and chikungunya viral infection free of cost to all 30 districts by 2015 with assistance from the National Health Mission.

He also said the department had taken up control of dengue fever and prevention of deaths due to dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome.

The National Health Policy defines that the goal to be achieved under the Union government’s National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme is a 25 per cent reduction in vector-borne diseases by 2015 with 2006 incidence as the base year. He said malaria cases had reduced from 62,512 with 25 deaths in 2006 dropped to 13,302 malaria cases in 2013 and no deaths reported due to malaria. He also said malaria was confined to only Mangalore and Udupi towns.

Besides malaria, he said lymphatic filariasis was prevalent in 9 endemic districts. “However, mass drug administration has led to nearly elimination of filariasis in three districts,” said Mr. Shivasailam.

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