The Uttar Pradesh government has urged officials to take action to curb dengue fever in the state.
Dengue fever is considered the fastest-growing mosquito-borne disease in the world by the World Health Organization. Across India, more than 67,000 cases of the vector-borne disease — transmitted by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus species of mosquito — have been reported. In Uttar Pradesh, 792 cases of the disease were reported till September according to the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme. State capital Lucknow alone saw 551 cases by the end of October.
To counteract the spread of the disease, officials being exhorted by the state government to take action on dengue. “All the district magistrates and divisional commissioners are directed to take effective steps for prevention and control of dengue and other vector-borne diseases in the state,” explained state Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari. These steps include fogging, spraying larvicides, ensuring the provision of medicines in government-run hospitals to be administered to dengue patients, running awareness campaigns, and setting up health camps.
Action on dengue is vital following the withdrawal of the monsoon rains, enabling the proliferation of conditions such as pockets of stagnant water which are prime opportunities for vector species to breed. Exacerbating the situation this year was the fact that rainfall during the prolonged monsoon reached a 25-year high leading to many states – Uttar Pradesh included – being ravaged by floods.
As such, action on dengue fever is vitally needed in the interest of public health. This is imperative at the national, state, and local levels, with the onus being upon officials – as instructed by the Uttar Pradesh government – to take proactive measures to control the disease, ensure the provision of treatment to patients, and raise awareness among the public to safeguard their wellbeing.