The main responsibility of killing mosquitoes is the Ministry of Local Government. The Ministry does not properly implement the decisions taken to kill mosquitoes. The recommendations given by the World Health Organization (WHO) at different times to control the Aedes mosquito-borne dengue disease have also not been implemented. Experts say that the dengue situation has worsened due to a lack of sincerity on the part of the officials.
Over two decades of experience have shown that local governments, the Ministry of Rural Development and Cooperatives, and the Ministry of Health falter when the dengue situation begins to deteriorate. Meetings and seminars are held, and experts are called. Some decisions are made. It happened last year too.
The minutes of last year’s two important meetings show that many important decisions were taken. The question is, the decisions have not been implemented? If so, why are so many people suffering from dengue this year, why are so many people dying from dengue?
A meeting was held on June 19, 2022, in the conference room of the local government department to review the activities of the city corporation, relevant ministries, departments, departments, and agencies to prevent mosquito-borne diseases in the country. It was presided over by the Minister of Local Government. Tajul Islam 10 decisions are taken in the meeting and it is decided which ministry, department, or directorate will implement any decision individually or jointly.
If the Aedes mosquito was under control, more than 62,000 people would not have been infected with dengue last year. Mosquitoes are not under control this year either.
Kabirul Bashar, entomologist and professor at Jahangirnagar University
After 1 month and 10 days on 28 July 2022, the next meeting was held on the same subject at the same place. It was presided over by Minister Tajul Islam. Nine decisions were taken in that meeting. Besides, the responsibility for implementing decisions is shared.
Apart from the local government minister, Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Md. Atiqul Islam, Mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation Sheikh Fazle Noor Tapas, Mayor of Chittagong City Corporation. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Chief Coordinator of the Prime Minister’s Office Juena Aziz, secretaries and senior officials and experts of several ministries.
The minutes of the meeting show that senior government officials are satisfied with mosquito control. However, in several cases, the statements from the minutes of the first meeting have been carried over to the minutes of the second meeting.
Mosquitoes were under control!
In the June 19 meeting, the local government minister said that the city corporation and other organizations are successfully playing a role in dengue prevention through their coordinated activities. Mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation Sheikh Fazle Noor Tapas said, “The mosquitoes are under complete control in the area of Dhaka South City Corporation under the direction, close supervision, and proper action plan of the Honorable Minister. Juena Aziz, Chief Coordinator of the Prime Minister’s Office said, under the successful leadership of the Minister and the timely action plan and activities of the City Corporation Adoption has successfully controlled dengue.
The July 28 meeting similarly spoke of success. Since then dengue outbreak in Dhaka city is seen increasing.
Kabirul Bashar, entomologist and professor of the Zoology Department of Jahangirnagar University, told Prothom Alo, “If the Aedes mosquito was under control, more than 62,000 people would not have been affected by dengue last year.” Mosquitoes are not under control this year either. If it was under control, 60 thousand people would not have been affected.
It was decided in the two meetings of the Ministry of Local Government that each ward of the City Corporation should be divided into 10 sub-areas and committees should be formed involving people from different classes and professions in each.
What decision, how much implementation
It was decided in the two meetings of the Ministry of Local Government that each ward of the City Corporation should be divided into 10 sub-areas and committees should be formed involving people from different classes and professions in each. A three-level committee has been made in Dhaka North City Corporation. However, there is no such committee in Dhaka South City Corporation. No such committee has been formed in the other 10 city corporations.
At the function of North City Corporation on Thursday, the representative of Prothom Alo wanted to know whether there is any activity to control dengue or Aedes mosquito outside Dhaka. We have developed Integrated Vector Management Guidelines from the Ministry. As many local government institutions as there are — union councils, municipalities, and city corporations, all the institutions have been told to divide their responsibilities, and let them fulfill their responsibilities.
There are no entomologists in the two city corporations of Dhaka. There is one entomologist each in Narayanganj and Rangpur City Corporation. There is no entomologist in the remaining eight city corporations of the country i.e. Khulna, Barisal, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Comilla, Gazipur, Sylhet, and Mymensingh City Corporation.
The decision of the meeting was to appoint entomologists as per the demand of the city corporations.
Entomologists play an important role in mosquito control. Entomologists can tell which is the breeding place of mosquitoes, they can survey where there are more mosquitoes, where less.
The former director of the government’s disease control branch, public health professor Be-Nazir Ahmed told Prothom Alo, “I have been talking about increasing the entomological capacity for many years. not working Mosquito control is not possible with ordinary mosquito killers.