Nepal | January 18, 2021

EDITORIAL: Threats of dengue

Share Now:

As there is no prescribed medicine to cure dengue, the three tiers of government must launch awareness drives in the affected districts

Except for Karnali Province, people from the other six provinces have been affected by the outbreak of the dengue virus, mostly in the Tarai region, Kaski and Kathmandu. According to data maintained by the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division under the Department of Health, Makwanpur, Kaski, Chitwan, Jhapa and Kathmandu districts have seen the largest number of people suffering from the mosquito-borne disease since the last one month (July 1 to September 3). Till last week, as many as 1,537 cases of dengue cases were recorded across the country. But it jumped to 2,559 by Wednesday, up by 66 per cent in a week. As many as 1,867 people were found to have tested positive for the disease in the five districts alone. The disease has spread rapidly in Makwanpur (546), Kaski (517), Chitwan (434) and Jhapa (294). A total of 10 districts are affected by the disease, which is transmitted to humans after being bitten by the female Aedes aegypti mosquito. It is likely to bite early in the morning or before dusk. First detected in Sunsari at the onset of the monsoon, the disease has now spread in the urban areas as frequent rainfall has provided a breeding ground for the vector.

Doctors say these mosquitoes generally grow in mismanaged cities with improper waste management. Dengue-causing mosquitoes lay eggs in water that accumulate in discarded tyres, bottles and cans, flower pots, air conditioners, rainwater collected in urban areas and waterlogged areas. Climate change, leading to rising temperature, is also contributing to the rise of dengue as such cases have also been detected in relatively cooler climatic areas. Common symptoms of dengue include high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, pain in muscles and bones, rashes and back pain. So far, three people have died from dengue.

As there is no specific medicine to cure the disease, the only way to stay safe from this disease is to destroy mosquitoes and their breeding areas; keep the local environment neat and clean; always use mosquito nets; and apply mosquito repellents. One should always wear long sleeves and trousers to cover the arms and legs; remove water from the ground, water pots and discarded tyres. Once the said symptoms become visible, one must take complete rest and drink plenty of liquid food and consult doctors if the fever does not subside within seven to 10 days. Medicine should be taken only on a doctor’s advice. Although the disease became active earlier, the dengue virus is expected to remain active till December. So, the three tiers of government must work in tandem to make a “mosquito search and destroy campaign” a success. So far, the government has asked the public not to use a dengue kit in suspected cases due to its acute shortage. It means the government is still underestimating the further spread of the dengue virus despite its regular occurrence since 2010. The virus is sure to take all the districts in its grip over the next decade thanks to easy access of transportation, rapid urbanisation, poor hygiene and sanitation, ineffective measures to control it and lack of political commitment. The only way to control it is to raise awareness in the dengue-affected districts.

Resume Melamchi

It is rare to see a project complete in time in Nepal. The projects get delayed for many reasons, not the least being obstacles posed by the locals and workers. The cost escalation, as a result, is a heavy drain on the government’s resources. The construction of the Melamchi Drinking Water Project has been stalled for months, after the Italian contractor left the scene without completing it. A new contractor – Sinohydro – has been found, but the vendors and local suppliers have said they will not allow construction to resume unless their dues, which the Italian contractor had failed to pay, are cleared.

Why has the government not done anything towards addressing the grievances of the workers these past months? The government on Wednesday formed a committee to study the issue and make recommendations on the outstanding dues. For how long should the national pride project be made to wait before the construction can begin? The government must resume its construction at the earliest while simultaneously resolving the grievances of the aggrieved parties. Individuals must not be allowed to hold a project costing billions to ransom to get their demands met. This is anarchy.



A version of this article appears in print on September 06, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

319 Nepalis living abroad have succumbed to Covid-19 thus far: NRNA

KATHMANDU: Two more Nepalis living abroad died from coronavirus infection in the past week. According to Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA), one person passed away in London while the other one died in South Africa. According to the Health Committee under NRNA, with the latest fatalities, Read More...

In pics: A day in the lives of STIDH health-workers

KATHMANDU: Teku-based Sukraraaj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital (STIDH) which was established as centre for treating COVID-19 cases has been successfully providing quality care to the patients. Following the detection of the virus in country around ten months ago, the government had dec Read More...

PM has no right to dissolve House, SC told

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 17 Lawyers representing the petitioners that have challenged the dissolution of the House of Representatives today began pleading before the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana. Advocate Bhimarjun Acharya said the prime m Read More...

EC consults parties regarding snap polls

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 17 The Election Commission today held consultation with 11 political parties on midterm polls announced for April 30 and May 10. EC Spokesperson Raj Kumar Shrestha said Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya informed representatives of political parties about its Read More...

Valley schools reopening after 10 months

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 17 Schools across all local bodies inside Kathmandu valley have started reopening. They had been closed for at least 10 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 24, the government imposed a blanket lockdown in a bid to subdue the spread of coronavirus, which hit the Read More...

Double for Stones as Man City crush Palace to go second

MANCHESTER: Manchester City steamed into second place in the Premier League with defender John Stones scoring an unlikely double in a 4-0 demolition of visiting Crystal Palace on Sunday. Central defender Stones, closing in on 100 Premier League appearances for City, headed his first league g Read More...

Information Technology

Smart diplomacy: Needs tech-driven approach

A calling need for tech-savviness in state diplomacy with a tech-managed system has assumed diplomatic importance to promote techno-economic cooperation and trade promotion. Technical knowledge about economic and trade connections with both the developed and emerging countries would substantially he Read More...

EDITORIAL: Unresolved issues

It would be in the best interest of both Nepal and India to resolve the boundary issue amicably Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali returned home on Saturday after wrapping up his three-day visit to India, where he took part in the sixth Foreign Minister-Level Joint Commission meeting. But he could no Read More...