Dengue, Malaria and chikungunya are the names of just some of the fatal diseases that are caused due to mosquito bites. Did you know that the dengue virus affects about 25000 people in India every year and several of these affected people end up dying? Are lives so easily compromised in our country? Is the government doing enough to ensure clean surroundings and hence lesser mosquito breeding sites? Probably not. It is a fact that unclean surroundings and stagnant water are the main reasons for mosquito breeding and hence these dangerous diseases. Thus as a country it should be our primary concern to remove as many mosquito breeding sites as possible. The government must pay more attention to cleanliness drives so that people can stop living in fear of being ill due to something as little as a mosquito. Moreover the government must be ready at all times to deal with cases of mosquito bites to avoid the deteriorating condition of patients.
As the number of cases of mosquito related diseases has gone up, the immediate response of the state and central government is to provide more hospital beds and doctors to treat the affected. It is true that some efforts were also made to prevent breeding of the Aedes mosquito which spreads dengue virus but it was all too little, too late. This is nothing but a tragic story of poor public health measures and insufficient population-level efforts, which have not received deserving attention in India.
Local health administration’s failure
Our local health administrations always come up with ideas and preventive measures to control spreading of dengue and malaria etc but these ideas mostly remain on paper and are not implemented at a larger level. It is their responsibility to generate awareness about the disease, take measures to stop mosquito breeding and the spread of dengue, and also to ensure proper availability of health services for those have been bitten.
But the growing occurrence of dengue, malaria and chikungunya points out to a lack of sufficient and timely preventive and public health efforts by local administrations as well as central government. This is the reason why when the cases start occurring every year, the initial reaction is denial of the occurrence of cases and deaths.
What should be done?
We are all aware of the fact that we must stop relying on the government completely and find ways on our own to prevent occurrence of mosquito bites. For this, we all need to make efforts to keep our surroundings clean and do not let water collect anywhere. Besides this, a concerted and systematic strategy is needed to bring down the number of cases and deaths. The following are some things that are needed for the same:
1. Service provision: the first thing needed is the availability of services to patients so that they can visit and consult doctors in a timely and systematic way. It would be great if there could be more focus on population services such as awareness generation prior to the disease season as well as mosquito control etc.
2. Creation of resources: sufficient public health staff should be available in order to conduct fogging, check mosquito breeding sites and pursue other preventive measures. Supplies like spray machines and insecticides must be available to workers to deal with mosquito population. Moreover, health care facilities should have a backing of enough trained manpower so as to conduct tests and take care of patients.
3. Financing: None of the preventive measures and mosquito tackling methods can work without proper financing. Sufficient funds should be allocated by the local and state governments. The money financed should reach the right hands at the correct time so that they can take forward their duties from there without being limited due to money.
Tropical climate of India may be the reason why mosquitoes are commonly found in our country but the lack of preventive measures too is responsible for mosquito bite related deaths. Nothing is difficult if a country and its government work together as a group. As citizens it is our responsibility to do our bit for the welfare of the society as a whole.