Monday, 25 Jun 2018

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10,000 students conduct awareness campaign on chikungunya

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Health Desk: June 17, 2017--- Nearly 10,000 students of medical and dental colleges and health technology institutes have conducted a social awareness campaign on chikungunya in all 93 wards of Dhaka city corporations on Saturday (June 17).

Teams from the city corporations have also taken part in the campaign to destroy larva or pupae of aedes mosquitoes that transmit viral diseases -- chikungunya and dengue.

"We expect this massive campaign to create better understanding of how communities can eliminate breeding sources of aedes mosquitoes as well as the measures chikungunya patients should take," said Prof Dr Sanya Tahmina, director (communicable disease control, CDC) at the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

The initiative taken by the CDC unit of DGHS comes when chikungunya has become quite common in the capital with fears of further spread of the viral disease due to very high presence of aedes mosquitoes.

Forty-seven of the 53 areas of two Dhaka city corporations surveyed by the DGHS early June this year were found with a very high presence of aedes mosquitoes.

On average, fifty-two percent of plastic barrels, buckets, clay pots, used or abandoned tyres and tubes and water tanks have been found with larva or pupae of this mosquito. Besides, stored clean water is a perfect breeding place for aedes mosquitos.

Dr Tahmina said the campaign began at 9:00am and ended at 2:00pm. Health Services Division Secretary Sirajul Haque Khan and Health Education and Family Welfare Division Secretary Sirajul Islam inaugurated the campaign in Dhaka North City Corporation and Dhaka South City Corporation respectively.

While dengue can be fatal at times, chikungunya is not. However, for patients with old-age complications or diabetes, chikungunya might lead to fatalities, epidemiologists say.

There is no cure for the disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms, it added.

Mentionable, chikungunya causes fever and severe joint pain, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. Joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually lasts for a few days or may be prolonged to weeks.