Trouble looms as multi-storey buildings double up as mosquito hubs in Dhaka

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2020-04-01 12:07:45 BdST

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Multi-storey and under-construction buildings in Dhaka house more dengue-carrying Aedes mosquitoes than any other place as the city reels from a coronavirus shutdown, according to a survey.

The survey was conducted by the Directorate General of Health Services or DGHS under its National Malaria and Mosquito Borne Disease Elimination Programme from Mar 5 to Mar 14 in 98 wards under Dhaka’s bifurcated city corporations. 

It covered 2,996 houses but in most of these places, the density of Aedes mosquito was below the hazardous level, Prof Shahnila Ferdousi, director of DGHS’ Disease Control Department, said in an online media briefing on Sunday.

Mosquitoes were found in 51.39 percent of multi-storey buildings under survey with another 25 percent found in buildings under construction, 11.11 percent in independent houses, 1.39 percent in empty plots and 11 percent in tin-roofed houses.

The density of Aedes larvae or Breteau index score did not exceed 20 – considered the hazardous level -- in any of the places surveyed.

The Breteau Index rating was more than 10 in seven areas, including ward No. 15, 16, 18, 28, and 41 in Dhaka South and ward no. 31 in Dhaka North, according to the DGHS.

The DGHS has identified the month of April as a particularly sensitive period when it comes to the prevalence of vector-borne diseases such as dengue and chikungunya. It has accordingly taken different measures to prevent the spread of these diseases, said Dr Shahnila.

At least 41,700 test kits have been sent to civil surgeons in 64 districts for distribution across all upazilas, she said.

“Besides providing training to doctors and health workers, we wrote to the district and upazila administrations to take necessary preventive measures.”