TAMIL NADU

Rally to create awareness on dengue

Special Correspondent

People requested to get treatment if they suffered from high fever, shivering, headache and muscle pain

COIMBATORE: More than 100 students and about 40 blood donors took out a rally here on Thursday to sensitise the public to the need for preventing dengue – a disease caused by a virus that is spread through mosquito bites.

Objective

The objective was to educate the people on how to eliminate breeding space for mosquitoes and on using protective items such as mosquito nets. The rally was organised by Anytime Blood Donors’ Association, Relife Foundation, J.K. College of Nursing and Voyce Foundation.

Breeding grounds

“There is a need to spread awareness during November and December, because this is the time when stagnant rainwater provides breeding ground for mosquitoes,” S. Kowshik, one of the persons running the blood donors’ association, said.

Donors

The association has a network of donors that makes blood available 24 hours for emergency cases.

“We have seen a number of dengue cases struggling to get blood,” Mr. Kowshik says, to explain why the association and its support groups chose to generate awareness on dengue. The normal platelets count in individuals should be one lakh to three lakh. When dengue worsened, the count dipped below one lakh. Sometimes, it came down to 20,000 to 30,000 and this led to profuse bleeding. At this point, transfusion of platelets was needed to save the patient, he explained. Therefore, rather than struggling at this point, it was better to prevent dengue through sensitisation.

The organisers of the rally printed two-lakh pamphlets containing details of the disease, specifically on how it was caused and how it could be prevented.

“The parent of a child whom we saved with platelets, and some support groups, provided funds for the pamphlets,” Mr. Kowshik said.

Vulnerable areas

These were distributed not only along the rally route, but also in vulnerable areas that included slums. The vulnerable areas were those where water was stored in open containers. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes bred only in fresh water. Either water stored in such an unsafe manner or rain water that stagnated in discarded coconut shells, tyres, broken glass or bottle provided breeding spaces for the mosquitoes.

Pamphlets

The pamphlets also called upon the public to get treatment if they suffered from high fever, shivering, headache and muscle pain.

Health department sources maintained that occurrence of dengue was sporadic in Coimbatore, especially in urban areas where efforts for eliminating breeding spaces were poor.



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