Hyderabad: A multi-pronged approach adopted by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) coupled with extensive disinfectant drive20s due to Covid-19 pandemic has helped in controlling the seasonal diseases, especially in registering a considerable drop in dengue and malaria cases in the city this year. This is despite the incessant rains in the city during the monsoon season.

In 2019, from January to September, 76 malaria cases were reported across GHMC limits and this came down to just three cases during the corresponding period this year. Similarly, 1,726 dengue cases were reported in the city till September last year and this came down to 226 cases this year. Among all the factors, the Sunday 10 AM 10 minutes initiative launched by Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister KT Rama Rao had a good impact in clearing the stagnant water in the households, which is one of the prime sources of seasonal diseases, said GHMC Chief Entomologist Dr Rambabu

Unlike last year, as per the directions of the MA& UD Minister, a health calendar was formulated and measures were taken accordingly. This also ensured a good result in controlling the seasonal diseases, especially dengue and malaria cases, he said. The municipal corporation is taking up the weekly Anti-Larval Operations (ALOs) with 642 teams as per the Pin Point Programme (PPP) in domestic, peri-domestic mosquito breeding sources (house to house) every day covering on average one lakh houses.

On an average, 3,000 to 3,500 houses are being identified with circumstance for mosquito breeding and all the sources identified in the houses are being removed and treated with larvicides. This apart under the Sunday 10 am 10 minutes sanitation initiative, focus is being laid on source reduction, especially checking of overhead water tanks, sumps, pit-taps and other water storage containers like drums, tins, pots and unwanted waste materials etc.

This is mainly done for identification and removal of Aedes and Anopheles mosquito breeding and the sources are being treated with larvicide Temephos once in a week. This year, special focus was also laid on River Musi. In all, 18 exclusive ALO teams with 54 workers are taking up ALO activities in River Musi from Attapur to Chaderghat bridge for edge cleaning and spraying to control breeding sources, and water hyacinth is being removed from tanks and ponds in the city.

Further, identification of disease hotspots was being taken up regularly on a large scale. “Disease hotspots and transmission dynamics were identified for both dengue and malaria based on last year incidence and GIS Mapping has been done for all the reported cases,” says Dr Rambabu. Accordingly, this year, vigorous disinfectiondrives, awareness programmes and medical camps were taken up extensively.

On the preventive side, the closure of schools and colleges due to coronavirus pandemic has also helped in controlling the spread of these seasonal diseases, he adds.

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