GUWAHATI, March 19 – The threat of malaria, dengue and other vector-borne disease has apparently become more prominent this season, with Guwahati along with its adjoining areas facing ‘an unprecedented intimidation’ from mosquitoes even as the Health department awaits arrival of additional fogging machines.
The Guwahati Municipal Corporation, which in a State-level meeting held in January this year, was entrusted with the exclusive duty of using larvicidal medicine( control of larvae), appears to be clueless as well.
Several pockets in Guwahati have not seen any fogging activities as yet leaving the citizens to devise their own mechanism to deal with the ‘annoying bites’ which has exposed Government’s indifferent attitude towards public health.
“The intensity of the threat has assumed alarming proportions this year. Even the mosquito repellant and coils fail to yield the desired results. The frequent power cuts are adding to the woes,” said Dhan Sarma, a resident of Bora Service area. A top official of the Health department conceded that the available infrastructure, be it fogging machine or manpower, there is a sheer inadequacy.
“Frankly speaking, this is not a new scenario. We have always been found wanting when it came to taking preventive steps. Basically, citizens as on today stand vulnerable to vector-borne diseases,” the official stated. The existing scenario reflects the utter irresponsibility on the part of those at the helm of affairs, especially when the prominence of diseases like malaria and dengue in the last few years is taken into consideration.
When contacted a senior Health department official informed, “In the wake of the recent cases of dengue, some ‘hot spots’ are being given priority in and around Guwahati. The situation in those areas, is assessed after every week or fortnight.”
However, a source in the department confessed that the plan chalked out to aware people the need of source reduction (destroying of breeding areas) is yet to be executed in real sense of the term.
Joint Director, Health, Dr Satyen Choudhury when contacted told The Assam Tribune, that the fogging machine is expected to arrive soon and work will be done accordingly. What is more surprising that even district administration has been reportedly ‘non-reactive’ to the threat posed by the mosquitoes.