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Sunday, 17 June 2012

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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.

 

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