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Dengue menace should be eradicated soon - Health Minister

The dengue menace should be eradicated soon from Sri Lanka. Although it took over 80 years to contain the malaria epidemic, effective steps need to be taken to control dengue as early as possible, said Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. The cuban and local bacteria have already been used to destroy dengue mosquito breeding locations in the country.

The 10,000 units of bacteria imported from Cuba cost US $ 269,000. A pilot project to destroy the dengue mosquito with Cuban bacteria was launched at Bothalapitiya, Gampola on Thursday. Evaluating the results of the pilot project, it will be extended to other parts of the country depending on its efficiency in fighting the epidemic, the Minister said.

He said that the success of the islandwide dengue control campaign launched five months ago is encouraging. The number of dengue deaths has dropped during the past few months. Only 24 dengue cases were reported from the Colombo Municipal Council area and 21 from other parts of the Colombo district. Following the rising number of deaths, the government took every step to control the epidemic, the Minister said.

Dengue has spread to over 110 countries. In 1934 over 80,000 people died due to malaria and later the malaria control project was launched. With decades of experience and knowledge, Sri Lanka should be in a position to eliminate the dengue scourge soon, he said.

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