Chikungunya, dengue cases up in rural areas

Grampanchayats Blamed For Failing To Check Spread
Urban centres are no longer the choiciest breeding grounds for mosquitoes spreading dengue and chikungunya.The health department of Pune Zilla Parishad has recorded 18 outbreaks of dengue and four of chikungunya so far this year. A total of 649 cases were detected in the district’s rural areas so far.

Katewadi (Baramati taluka), Bhigwan (Indapur taluka) and Manchar (Ambegaon taluka) are in the grip of a dengue outbreak. Even remote villages like Amboli, Rui, Chambli and Kothale have not been spared. House Index (Ades Larval Index) in some of these areas has been more than 50%.

“Rural parts of Pune continue to get light showers which has led to accumulation of water -a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. We have initiated a multi-pronged strategy to contain the spread and prevent of outbreaks,“ said district health officer Bhagwan Pawar.

Not just dengue, but chikungunya cases too are on the rise in the rural parts of Pune.Areas like Kondhwe Dhawade, Uttamnagar and Shivane recorded sizable number of chikungunya cases in July .

“The government’s sentinel centre health staff had collected 125 samples of suspected patients. Of them, 125 had tested positive for chikungunya in Kondhwe Dhawade, Uttamnagar and Shivane in July ,“ said another state health official.

Activists blame the local gram panchayats for failing to initiate control measures.

“Gram panchayat officials, it is often seen, have a casual approach when it comes to prevention and containment of diseases. Many preventive operations like observing dry day , conducting indoor spraying and maintaining overall sanitation lack the active involve ment of panchayat officials,“ said activist Sanjay Dabhade.

Dengue, as we know it, has always been an urban disease.“Unplanned growth and construction activities are cited as the reasons for dengue in urban as well as rural areas, including small towns that have seen increased urbanisation,“ said another official.

Control of mosquitoes has been a long standing problem and has not been addressed even by countries with better infrastructure. Officials said every houseschoolofficefactory or any unit for that matter, should make an effort to see there are no discarded tires, plastic bags, containers, broken plastic ware in the vicinity where water can accumulate.

“No amount of fogging outside is going to affect the mosquitoes breeding inside the house.It is the people who have to protect themselves,“ said a scientist from the National Institute of Virology (NIV).

Source : TOI