Dengue effect sinks in, LMC, health dept to begin anti-mosquito drive

It took 160 dengue cases in Lucknow for the Health Department to wake to the need of spraying insecticides in the city.

The health department and the municipal corporation which were blaming each other for negligence in sanitation work, which led to the spread of the disease have swung into action after Health Minister Anant Kumar Mishra, in a meeting on Saturday, asked them to begin a joint campaign to spray insecticides in the city.

Since the last week of August, dengue cases are on the rise. On September 13, 33 cases were reported in the state, which rose to 218 in the first week of October 119 cases from Lucknow alone. This is the highest figure in the last three years. In 2007, there were 132 cases, 2008 saw only 51 and

2009 168 cases. Yet, no steps were taken to control the breeding sites of dengue mosquitoes in Lucknow.

Asked why steps are taken so late, the Director General, Health and Family Welfare, Dr SP Ram, blamed the LMC.

"The municipal corporation should have taken care of the sanitation, fogging and insecticide spraying," said Ram. "We stepped in when the LMC failed to do so."

The LMC claims it is not their duty alone to control the spread of dengue mosquitoes. "Our job is to conduct fogging and clean garbage and drains, which we have been doing," said PK Srivastava, Additional Municipal Commissioner, LMC. "Dengue mosquitoes are born in clean water and not in drains, fogging has no effect on them."

The supply of insecticides are a problem area. Till two years ago, these were procured and supplied by the Centre. But with the initiation of the National Rural Health Mission, the system has changed.

Now in rural areas, the Village Health and Sanitation Society under NRHM gets funds to buy insecticides, said Ram. In urban areas, it is the municipal corporation which has the responsibility.

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