Saturday, September 21, 2019

Dengue outbreak raises household expenses in Bangladesh as people buy more repellents

  • Sumon Mahbub, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-08-19 21:25:01 BdST

The dengue outbreak has had a marked impact on the daily lives of citizens as efforts to stave off the mosquito-borne disease have triggered an increase in household expenditures over the last two months.

Some have put up metal nets around their residences in a bid to keep out mosquitoes while repellents and coils top the weekly grocery lists in many households.

Sale of mosquito patches have also increased in the past few days.

A resident in Baily Road keeps a mosquito killer spray in each of the rooms in their house. They spray at every corner of the house, under the beds, behind the curtains and in the bathrooms after everyone leaves to work in the morning.

Camphor is also being put in drains and wash basins.

Dr Gopal Debnath stays in Segunbagicha with his family. He has put up a net at the main door in his apartment. He added net to the doors at his balconies too. Later, he put up nets at the windows also.

All these cost him Tk 30,000.

But spending that hefty amount was not enough for him as he also sprays aerosol around the house every morning.

Farah Amin, a resident of Banani is worried about her toddler Anaya. She is always putting a mosquito repellent patch on Anaya’s clothes.

Also, she is putting on Odomos, a mosquito repellent cream on the exposed parts of her daughter’s body before going out.

She is very worried as she is left with only one tube of Odomos, Farah Amin told bdnews24.com.

“Odomos is not available anymore,” Farah shared.

The price of mosquito repellent patch has gone up too, she said. She bought a pack of 10 mosquito patches for Tk 750, which she earlier bought at Tk 600, she said.

A shop owner at DCC Market in Gulshan substantiated Farah’s claim.

“We’re not selling Odomos anymore after there was some trouble with it, but mosquito patches are available,” he toldbdnews24.com, on condition of anonymity.

“Sale of Aerosol and Goodnight mosquito repellents has increased. Earlier, we used to sell around 30 Aerosol sprays a week but now we sell around 100 pieces a week,” Azmal Babu, another shop owner in DCC Market in Gulshan told bdnews24.com.

A first-year Dhaka University student reading a book inside a mosquito net at SM Hall's veranda on Sunday as fears of dengue grip the campus. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove

Tahsinur Rahman, a resident of Badda, said his weekly spending has increased by Tk 600 from buying mosquito killer sprays and electric coils since the disease began to spread, said Tahsinur Rahman from Badda.

Kazi Anowar Sadat, a resident of Dakkhin Khan, has been cleaning the surroundings of his house every week.

“I’m using bleaching powder around the house almost everyday. Also, I’m employing people to clean the surroundings every week. I have to spend Tk 1,000 extra for this every month,” Sadat told bdnews24.com.

Sales of mosquito killing sprays have increased by 25% in his shop, said Mohammed Abdullah Al Mamun, owner of Mukta Enterprise in Dhaka New Market.

The sale of mosquito patches have also gone up in the city. “We imported 200 patches the day before yesterday  and all of those were sold within a few hours,” Ataullahi Ripon, AGM of Unimart told bdnews24.com. Sales of mosquito killer sprays and coils have seen a 200 percent increase, he said.

Abdul Kuddus, a first-year student of the Dhaka University's international relations department and his peers are staying inside mosquito nets even during daytime. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove

Dhaka experienced the initial outbreak of dengue in June before it spread throughout the country. According to the government statistics, the number of dengue patients crossed 50,000 this year.

The latest fatalities have taken the death toll from the mosquito-borne viral disease to 172, as per a bdnews24.com count based on reports from doctors and hospitals.

The government count has put the death toll at 40.