Tarai areas vulnerable to malaria, dengue

KATHMANDU: As the monsoon begins, diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, such as malaria, Japanese Encephalitis and dengue have been detected in several places across the country.

Purushottam Gautam, entomologist of Epidemiology and Disease Control Division under the Department of Health Service said the cases of malaria, JE and dengue had been detected in settlements of the inner Tarai. He informed that the places near the jungle and semi-urban areas were more vulnerable to the diseases transmitted by mosquitoes. As many as 42 species of anopheles mosquitoes -- including the four which transmit malaria -- are found in Nepal. Districts including Jhapa, Morang, Kalikot, Kanchhanpur, Dhanusha, Sindhuli and Kavre are vulnerable to malaria outbreak, said Gautam, adding, cases of Japanese Encephalitis had also been detected in Jorpati, Kapan and semi urban villages of Lalitpur.

Gautam informed that Child Health Division under DoHS would launch vaccination campaign for children below 15 years to prevent the outbreak of diseases in the capital. "Although the distribution of Long Lasting Insecticidal Net (LLIN) in 13 districts has been delayed, we have been doing everything to control outbreak of diseases," said Dr Senendra Raj Upreti, director, EDCD. Upreti said that the EDCD was distributing LLIN in all the VDCs vulnerable to malaria. He informed that while 3,888 malaria cases were detected in 2008, 5,261 cases were detected in 2007.