Health Minister Vardhan asks all states to review steps for dengue, malaria prevention

dengue-page-uploadThe government Wednesday asked all states to take malaria and dengue prevention measures on a war footing. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan held a meeting to review the steps already taken in the National Capital Region (NCR), an official release said here. 'Dengue and malaria strikes with sickening regularity every year resulting in many deaths. Prevention of this tragedy is easy only if the prevention protocol is implemented with commitment,' he said. 'Let us make a new beginning. Let us not be complacent if the number of victims this year is less than last year's. We must aim for zero incidence within two to three years,' he said.

While there were 353 cases of malaria in 2013, Delhi has reported 11 cases till June 30. Uttar Pradesh reported 48,346 and 6,473 cases of malaria respectively for 2013 and up to June-end this year. The health minister, who recently toured the US where he met experts at the Centre for Disease Control, said he was convinced that 80 percent success rate is assured if well known preventive steps are implemented. Harsh Vardhan said he was keen to integrate into a strategy the success stories of states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, where the incidence of vector-borne diseases has registered a dramatic fall, thanks to concentrated action and community involvement. (Read: Neem and tulsi, effective remedies to keep malaria out of your home)

Read more about Malaria-- causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and treatment

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He said he would also send central health officials to all the states to take stock of the situation on the health front. 'There cannot be a one-size-fits-all policy. Each region is different and needs its unique solution,' he said. The meeting was attended by the health ministers of Haryana and Rajasthan besides Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung. Jung said at the meeting that preventive steps are already under implementation in the capital. It was also decided to carry out a poster drive in schools, Delhi Metro stations, bus stands and markets to spread awareness about the symptoms of dengue. (Read: Top 5 promising researches in malaria treatment, prevention and control)

How to prevent dengue?

Once bitten it takes about four to ten days for the symptoms to show. The most common symptoms are high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands, muscle and joint pain and in some cases a rash. The more severe forms of dengue are hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. There is no clear treatment for the condition nor is there a vaccine against it, so the best way is to prevent the disease from occurring at all. Here are a few simple and practical tips to keep dengue at bay:

  1. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are known to bite humans during the day and their most common breeding grounds are man made containers. Therefore, it is advisable to not have any stagnant water around. Remember to clean out empty flower pots and not to over water potted plants. If the container that contains water cannot be emptied, remember to cover it well when not in use.
  2. Turn over empty pails and buckets, so that they do not collect excess water.
  3. Use mosquito repellants regularly. Apply it well on all exposed areas, during the day as well as at night.
  4. Make sure your window and door screens do not have any holes. If so, block those areas properly to eliminate mosquitoes. Read more about Prevent dengue with these 10 practical tips

With inputs from IANS

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