The medical and paramedical staff in Chittoor on Monday organised a public health awareness rally from the Government Hospital to the TTD Kalyana Mandapam, to mark World Health Day, keeping with WHO’s slogan ‘Small Bite, Big Threat’.

The rally, with about 500 personnel of the Medical and Health Department, was joined by the general public and voluntary organisations. During the awareness programme, the medical fraternity observed that the World Health Organization (WHO) had undertaken massive schemes to control mosquito menace all over the world. Lack of awareness and illiteracy in rural pockets is leading to over 50,000 deaths per year in India due to malaria, filariasis, dengue and chikungunya.

Jawahar Bala Arogya Raksha (JBAR) district coordinator A. Sudarsan said that an anti-mosquito drive was being carried out on a massive scale in rural areas. This involves popularising the use of mosquito nets, using prescribed chemicals to burn neem leaves in residential areas and individual houses, and spraying of repellents. He said that as part of subscribing to the WHO slogan, steps would be taken to observe all Fridays as dry days, in order to clear water stagnation.

Additional District Medical and Health officer Bharati Reddy, District Malaria Officer Dosa Reddy and leading gynaecologist in Chittoor, Ramalakshmi, presented appreciation letters to the medical and paramedical staff in recognition of their services.

Medical officers of various public health centres, ASHA workers, and nursing students took part in the programme.