KERALA

Call for vector-borne disease control programme

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, FEB. 26. Eight more cases of malaria have been confirmed in the district, taking the total number of fresh cases reported this year in the district to 51.

At present, 20 persons are undergoing treatment at various hospitals. Of the eight new cases, one is a case of `imported' malaria, reported from the Pozhiyoor primary health centre, and the rest are indigenous malaria, reported from the Valiathura Government dispensary.

Meanwhile, a workshop on Malaria prevention and eradication, organised for health officials, district malaria officers, biologists and entomologists on Thursday called for the setting up of a comprehensive vector-borne disease control programme as a permanent measure to keep epidemics such as malaria at bay.

The workshop, organised by the Directorate of Health Services, was inaugurated by the Health Minister, Kadavoor Sivadasan.

The Minister suggested that the malarial endemicity of Valiathura should be subjected to serious study, as the disease was re-surfacing in the area after a gap of four years. As the disease was being reported mostly from Valiathura, the community features should also become a subject of study, he said.

The Director of Health Services, V. K. Rajan, said only joint efforts by local bodies, voluntary organisations and the public could make a success of the vector-control and malaria eradication activities initiated by the Health Department. Dr. Rajan said that the Municipal Act should be amended so as to make the State eligible for aid under the urban malaria scheme.

Meanwhile, the All India Youth Federation has demanded that measures be taken on a war footing to check the outbreak of epidemics like malaria. It also demanded that a permanent mechanism be put in place to organise preventive measures against epidemics.

The Federation of Residents' Associations (FRAT), in association with the Indian Medical Association, will organise a free malaria awareness and eradication camp on February 29, at the Assumption Church, Cheriyathura .

Dengue fever

Two more children, diagnosed as having dengue fever, were admitted to the SAT Hospital on Thursday.

While one case, of Sajin (5), has been reported from Vallakkadavu, the second case of Sabeer (6), was reported from the Puthukurichy primary health centre. About 45 cases of dengue fever have been reported from the district this year so far.