Dengue deaths in 2015 recorded as 12 already

Published : 10:22 am  February 17, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


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The Health Ministry is to launch a special dengue eradication programme across the country from February 19 to Feb 21, the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry said yesterday.

The programme which is to focus mainly on the Western Province will be done in collaboration with the tri forces, Epidemiology Unit Director Dr. Paba Palihawardana said.
According to statistics in the Epidemiology Unit report, out of the 6,996 cases of dengue recorded across the country, 2,089  were reported from the Colombo District. Twelve dengue related deaths have been reported this year.
Dr. Palihawardana also said that during the three-day dengue control programme, on the instructions of the Health Department, personnel from the three forces – Army, Navy and Air Force and the Police are to join civil authorities to inspect and clear mosquito breeding sites in and around the city of Colombo and across the country.

The authorities will deploy 500 teams to inspect and clear residencies, government institutions, schools and business premises. Each team will inspect 50 premises on each of the three days. Meanwhile Colombo Municipality Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ruwan Wijeymuni said that 583 suspected dengue cases were reported from the Colombo Municipality area and that the number was slightly higher when compared to the number of cases reported during the same period last year.
“The change in rain patterns could be considered as a reason for the slight increase. However, all the cases may not be diagnosed as dengue. Based on our experiences, about 80 per cent could be confirmed dengue cases and the rest as other viral and flu cases,” he said.
Health officials in Dehiwala- Mount Lavinia Municipality have also intensified measures to control the spread of dengue in the municipality area.
Inspections were carried out last weekend in Jayasumanarama Road, Gnanaendra Road, H.Weerasena Road, Bangalawa Road, Kotalawara Pura, and Sylvester Road in the Ratmalana area. Authorities said that 700 homes, compounds and business premises were inspected and 113 premises were found with conditions suitable for the breeding of mosquitoes. Several places with still water were found with dengue mosquito larvae.

MOH Dr. Indika Ellawala said the owners of two of the houses were spot fined and others issued with final notices prior to legal action.  He said several government institutions were among those warned for failing to take precautions as instructed earlier.  Mosquito breeding grounds were found in storm water drains, uncovered manholes and waste-water drains lines in the Mount Lavinia housing scheme.  Dr. Ellawala said the programme included fumigation of suspected mosquito breeding places in abandoned buildings and public places along roadsides.
A team of 28 officers including Administrative PHI Lalith  Perera,  area public health inspectors Laksman Siriwardene, N.P.G.,Wimalaratne, and the municipal health department workers carried out the inspections.
Pics by H.M.Dharmapala


The Colombo Municipality has introduced a smartphone app called ‘Mob- Buzz Dengue’ as a step to increase the involvement of residents and visitors to Colombo in mitigating the disease.

The Municipality’s Health Department in collaboration with the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Colombo University’s School of Computing and mobile phone network provider Mobitel has launched the app.
“One of the biggest issues we have is low participation of people in dengue fighting endeavours. This is a civic responsibility. Some people do report on dengue breeding places but in general people are inactive when fighting dengue. Therefore, we came up with a plan to get the people’s attention with a touch of modern technology,” CMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ruwan Wijayamuni said.
He said the usual procedure of making a complaint on dengue breeding places was a complex and difficult procedure and added that the new app would make the process easier as well as make people aware of health education.
Dr. Wijayamuni said with the Geo-tagging feature, the app would be able to enable to determine where a person is and to locate where the dengue breeding place was based on the complaint.
“A person can take a picture of a mosquito breeding place and send it to the chief medical officer. Through the server, all the area medical officers of health and public health inspectors will be aware of the complaint and the officer responsible for a certain area could look into the matter. If an officer failed to take action, I will come to know that,” he said and added all the officers were given tablet PCs under the project received as donations.
Symptoms of the disease and also the details of the nearest hospital would be included in the app, he said.
He said they were optimistic about mitigating the dengue spread in the city with the increased involvement of people through the app.
The app could be downloaded from Google play store free of charge.

By Lahiru Pothmulla