Dhaka city witnesses the outbreak of Chikungunya, raising a new public health concern. Chikungunya is an infection caused by the Chikungunya virus (CHIKV). The virus is spread between people by a tiny insect of Aedes mosquito. They mainly bite people during day time.
In a densely populated Dhaka city, it is one of the most feared insects. However, defeating the insect is turning out to be an impossible task.
On April 20, 2015, Annisul Huq, the Mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), said in a pre-election programme that he had conducted a survey among 76,735 citizens living in 36 wards of DNCC area to find out what problems the residents of the area were facing. According to the Mayor, 68.3 per cent of the respondents identified mosquito breeding places as the main public nuisance in Dhaka North City Corporation area.
Annisul Huq had promised to solve this problem if elected as the Mayor of DNCC. Mosquito control was also one of the top pledges made by Mohammad Sayeed Khokon, the Mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC), before election.
However, the situation has not improved. This year, the outbreak of Chikungunya has taken an epidemic form in the city.
As per press reports, DNCC Mayor Annisul Huq on Friday expressed his sadness and empathy for Dhaka dwellers over the sufferings from Chikungunya disease.
Speaking at a press briefing on awareness building campaign for Chikungunya, he assured people that the city corporation has taken all possible steps in this regard.
“We’ve taken all measures for mosquito control and Chikungunya prevention but some factors are not under our control”, the mayor said.
Aedes mosquitoes breed in clear water that is mostly kept inside homes and residences. “We cannot go inside the houses to control mosquitoes from spreading,” he added.
However, the most important instrument to control mosquito is raising public awareness. Aedes mosquito that causes Chikungunya, breeds in stagnant water, including water in flower pots, discarded tyres, vases and other containers. Keeping homes clean and ensuring timely removal of stagnant water can keep mosquitoes from breeding.