IMA War against Aedes
Dr K K Aggarwal
The Indian Medical Association is launching a campaign ‘DENG-WAR’ to fight the menace of the Aedes mosquito, which transmits the virus causing dengue fever.
Dengue takes on an epidemic form almost every year and creates panic among the public. Dengue fever is a preventable disease and prevention is the first step in its management. But, without community participation, it is not possible to do so.
Community participation is vital to prevent and control the spread of diseases transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which includes Zika, Chikungunya and yellow fever besides dengue. In community participation, individuals, families and communities are involved in the planning and conduct of local vector control activities. The Government cannot employ enough persons to search every backyard to identify and destroy breeding sites on a consistent basis to prevent this mosquito from breeding.
When political parties can run a door to door campaign during elections, then why can’t a similar approach be adopted to tackle this issue of public health importance?
- The Aedes aegypti lives in proximity to human settlements, breeding primarily in artificial as well as natural receptacles which collect water.
- The mosquito's life cycle is closely associated with human activities.
- The Aedes aegypti larvae can be found in containers such as drums, buckets, water vases, flower pots, air conditioner trays, old tins and cans, old shoes, old things thrown about, plants with axils such as bromeliad plants, old pet containers, tyres, tree holes, block holes - anything that is able to hold water close to where human dwell will lend itself to the breeding of this mosquito.
- Aedes aegypti does not breed in drains or gullies or ground pools of water or river margins.
- Look for the mosquito right there where people live, work, play and do business.
- Humans are primarily responsible for the presence of the Aedes aegypti in their environment through poor sanitation practices; improper solid-waste disposal practices; unsafe water storage practices and poor pool management
- Owing to its behavior of breeding in proximity to people and the behavioral adjustment that are required, one of the main strategies of dealing with this mosquito is to get everyone involved in the identification, destruction or treatment of the containers within their environment that breed the Aedes aegypti mosquito.