With the surge of the mosquito borne diseases, chikungunya and dengue, being reported out of Delhi, Indian health officials met Wednesday to discuss preparedness for the diseases.
Delhi has recently reported a surge in these infections with “official numbers” being noted as 20 chikungunya and 311 dengue cases (however, sources from various hospitals place the figure far higher at over 400 for chikungunya and over 600 for dengue).
In view of the rising number in Chikungunya and Dengue cases in the NCR Delhi, Secretary (HFW) urged the Municipal Bodies and Delhi Government officials to be alert over next two months and to gear up activities and measures to be taken for awareness generation, prevention and control of Chikungunya so as to effectively address the situation, and not allow it to escalate.
The Health Secretary was informed that the recent upsurge in the Chikungunya cases in Delhi is attributable to non immune population, as number of cases of Chikungunya was comparatively less in the previous years. Abundance of vector mosquito, construction activities, water storage practice, increased mobility of population and human behavior have also added to its’ transmission.
Government of India has requested to all States/UTs to declare Dengue as notifiable disease for improving reporting and for taking preventive measures in the affected areas. Under the guidance and direction of the Union Health Minister, Government of India has initiated several awareness programmes through print and electronic media and issue advertisements for controlling these diseases.
The Mobile App “India Fight Dengue” was also launched.
The officials from Delhi Government mentioned that special awareness programmes are being held in the schools, such as rallies, etc., to educate the children on Dengue. It was suggested that activities such as these could be replicated all over to create widespread awareness.