Monday, May 28, 2018 | ePaper

People suffer as blame game continues over spread of Chikunguniya

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Chikunguniya first visited Bangladesh over a decade ago but the intensity was not as high as it is this year.
While people reel from the mosquito-borne viral disease, the blame game continues as no one is ready to shoulder the responsibilities of the spread.
Health Minister Mohammed Nasim has held the city corporations responsible for the outbreak of the disease as they failed to eradicate mosquitoes.
On the other hand, Dhaka North City Corporation or DNCC Mayor Annisul Huq says the home-grown mosquitoes were the cause of the disease and not the ones bred in drains and marshlands.
He also said it is not possible for the city corporation people to go inside every household to kill mosquitoes or to hang mosquito nets.
His colleague, Dhaka South City Corporation or DSCC Mayor Sayeed Khokon launched a fresh mosquito eradication drive on Friday and hoped that they would get the desired result within four weeks.
Chikunguniya has spread so much fear into the public that a lawyer has moved the High Court seeking compensation for the victims from the government, only for the court to throw out his petition.
The city corporations have spent Tk 1.16 billion in mosquito elimination programme in last five years, but the blood-sucking tiny insect was omnipresent in the capital, which begs the question of the effectiveness of such a huge expenditure.
However, the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research or IEDCR has identified 23 areas in the capital as most vulnerable to the disease.
# Chikunguniya was first reported in the African nation of Tanzania in 1952. In Bangladesh, the disease was prevalent in 2008 but not as severe as it is now.
# In Tanzanian local language, chikunguniya means something that bends. With body temperature, the pain in muscle and joints are so severe that it bends the body.
# With muscle and joint pains there are red rashes on the body and nausea.
Doctors advise that if there are symptoms, it would be better to start taking paracetamol-type medicine without waiting for pathological tests. Antibiotics should be avoided.
Raw materials trader Shahidul Islam said someone in almost every family in his Moghbazar area has suffered the disease.
"I heard from my relatives and friends in other parts of the city that it's a similar situation in those areas," he told
"The low-income people are the worst sufferers as they have lost their daily income for not being able to go to work," he added.
He blamed themselves for not being proactive ahead of the monsoon to combat mosquitoes.
Masud Rahman of Uttara Sector-14 has similar symptoms, and the doctor is treating him for chikunguniya.
Masud's wife, Sultana Razia, told she saw the city corporation workers spray 'medicine' 'on Thursday only in last three to four months.
"The drains are clogged with dirt. Those are the breeding ground for mosquitoes. They neither clean it nor spray insecticide regularly," she complained.
A similar story came from Hossain Ahmed, a resident of Mirpur Sector-11.
On July 11, Health Minister Nasim said at a function in Osmani Memorial Hall that Dhaka city corporations had failed to keep the mosquito menace under control and it worsened the situation.
The Aedies mosquito, which is responsible for dengue, also spreads chikunguniya.

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