The Chennai Corporation will soon enlist 248 more malaria workers, as part of efforts to intensify its anti-mosquito operations. A change in working hours of workers is also under consideration to make the operations more scientific and systematic.
Many of the existing 1,100 malaria workers have, however, voiced their opposition to the civic body's proposal to change the timings as that would make them work in the evening and early morning hours.
An official of the Corporation said that the workers now carry out fogging and spraying operations from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pyrethrin is used for fogging operations and temephos for control of mosquito larvae.
According to research study, many of the mosquitoes that cause illness are active in the early morning and in the evening. But, fogging operations are not carried out during this time for want of manpower and reluctance of workers, the official said.
At present, only a small section of the workers are able to function during the time scientifically found to be effective for mosquito control operations. Those who work are doing that out of willingness to be on duty during the evening, the official added.
Inspiring malaria workers to work during the appropriate time, increasing the manpower and breeding source reduction would be the focus of the civic body in the coming days.
Structural changes in town planning would be the long term solution to the problem.