Monitoring essential to make mosquito eradication successful

Shahed Shafiq
Published : 23:33, Aug 19, 2019 | Updated : 00:00, Aug 20, 2019

Nurses treat patients infected with dengue at the Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh, August 2, 2019. REUTERSCouncilors of two city corporations, DSCC and DNCC, took charge of the mosquito killing operations. They were supposed to fix the salaries and check the attendance of workers .But after beginning the work, they disappeared. Now allegations of stealing repellents and taking an illegal share or a cut from the salaries of workers have been levelled against them.
As a result, Dengue and Chikungunya have spread in the city. The elimination of mosquitoes was the job of the Mosquito Control Department. When it failed, the task was taken over by the city corporations.
Mosquito eradication is done by joint forces of the mosquito control department and the city corporation which provides all the facilities. But mosquitoes cannot be controlled due to the lax attitude and a lack of coordination between the two bodies.
There is an allegation that in collusion with certain officials, workers are selling mosquito repellent. Many pay special attention to the homes of the wealthy, ignoring areas where mosquitoes are bred.
However, workers say: “We have to collect the repellent from the councilor’s home or office and have to use the medicine provided to us.”
Insecticide being sprayed by Mosquito fogger. PHOTO/ Sazzad HossainReportedly, ward councilors are never present when the repellent is sprayed because in the morning they are asleep and, in the evening, busy with their own work.
Meanwhile, residents say that councilors know the problems of every area under his/her ward and if the repellent spraying is done under their guidance then Dengue can be eradicated fast.
President of ‘We are Dhaka residents’ organisation Md. Shukur Ali, says: “A ward councilor has a lot of power and he/she can do a variety of things to ease the Dengue threat for people in a certain area; if a councilor chooses one alley to work on every day, then soon, an entire area will be free of mosquitoes.”
Ward councilor of ward 20, Farid Uddin Ahmed Ratan, adds: “Councilors have been given a task, but not the required support. They do not have offices, computers. Even a UP chairman has these. When digital attendance is ensured, work quality can be maintained.”