Dengue claims 74 lives in five months
The Health Ministry has expressed concern over the deadly dengue
epidemic now prevailing which claimed 74 lives during the first five
months of this year and cautioned the public to be more vigilant over
stagnant water in their home refrigerators, airconditioners and plastic
cans on the rooftops as these are veritable dengue breeding grounds.
According to a spokesman for the Health Ministry Epidemiology Unit,
around 14,000 dengue cases have been reported from all parts of the
country during this period. Nearly 34,000 dengue cases were reported
last year. Health Minister Maithreepala Sirisena told the Sunday
Observer that he would call an urgent meeting tomorrow with the
Presidential Task Force on Dengue prevention and discuss immediate
measures to be taken to check the epidemic.
He said that provincial health officials and the local authorities
with the assistance of the security forces visit households regularly in
the areas to monitor dengue control programs.
The Minister said that mosquito breeding grounds cannot be controlled
by appointing a Task Force alone or using chemicals unless the public
helps destroy their homegarden dengue breeding grounds.
Health Ministry Senior Official W.B. Wanninayaka said that the print
and electronic media should play a vital role to eradicate the dengue
menace by conducting various awareness programs in support of the
Government's ongoing dengue eradication program.
He said that local authorities have also been called upon to
implement effective garbage management systems, clearing of shrubs and
water drainage systems.