GUWAHATI, July 25 - Along with other parts of Assam, the monsoon season has also led to spread of vector-borne diseases in Kamrup (Metro) district, with Guwahati and nearby areas witnessing a number of cases of dengue, malaria, Japanese encephalitis (JE) and chikungunya. This has now forced the administration to frame and implement a master plan to prevent further spread of these diseases.
So far this year a total of 60 cases of Type I dengue, nine of chikungunya and five each of malaria and JE have been reported from the district.
Speaking to The Assam Tribune today, Joint Director of Health Services Dr Ganesh Saikia said there have been reports of sporadic cases of vector-borne diseases from many localities in the city as well as from nearby rural areas, particularly from the Sonapur revenue circle area.
“Accordingly, we have drawn up a master plan and started implementing it. The health department, the district administration, the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) and other line departments are part of the project. It will involve covering each of the 31 wards of Guwahati through a series of exercises including fogging, holding of public meetings and other awareness campaigns, and making an effort at source reduction to prevent spread of such diseases in the district,” said Dr Saikia.
The campaign has been launched in wards 17 and 21 and will cover two wards every day over a period of 15 days. Then the process will be repeated, ensuring that each GMC ward is covered at least twice a month.
According to the master plan, each day from 7 am to 10 am, public meetings, distribution of posters and leaflets and other information and communication exercises are being undertaken.
“This morning, I myself attended four such public meetings to sensitise people regarding vector-borne diseases and on ways and means to prevent them as well as on steps to be taken in case of anybody contracting such an ailment. We have just started the entire exercise and it will be stepped up over the coming days,” said Dr Saikia.
Medical camps are being set up during the daytime to check fever cases and diagnosed patients are being admitted to hospitals. Fogging exercises in localities are to be taken up in each selected ward after 4 pm every day.
GMC has 25 fogging machines at its disposal, while another ten are with the district health department.
Dr Saikia said that the number of dengue cases has shown a decline on an annual basis. There were 322 such cases during January 1-July 24 in 2016. This year the number has fallen to 60 during the corresponding period.
Altogether, during the whole of 2016, the district had reported around 5,400 cases of dengue and there were two deaths. “However, there were not many JE cases in Kamrup (Metro) last year,” said Dr Saikia.
Meanwhile, sources said that the State health department is expected to release at least Rs 31 lakh to the GMC soon for conducting fogging operations in the city.
Officials said special emphasis is being given to curb the spread of vector-borne diseases because overall they account for more than 17 per cent of all infectious diseases globally and in the humid climate of Assam such diseases can spread very fast.