Surge in vector disease
The Health Ministry has warned that vector borne diseases now
spreading in the country could spike, due to the prevailing dry weather
following heavy rains.
"We now see an increase in Dengue and Leishmanias (caused by sand
flies) cases. Diseases such as Lymphatic Filariasis and Japanese
Encephalitis and Malaria caused by mosquitoes can re-emerge and spread,
if mosquitoes continue to multiply," Health sources said. Ministry
spokesman W.A.D. Wanninayake told the Sunday Observer that WHO
Representative Dr F.R. Mehtha held discussions with Health Minister
Maithripala Sirisena recently to launch an Integrated Vector Management
program with several ministries including the media, to check the
Apart from cleaning up operations high risk populations will be
warned on the need to safeguard themselves from such vectors.
Residents in Anuradhapura and Ampara who are vulnerable to Cutaneous
Leishmaniasis will be cautioned to cover exposed legs, feet and arms
with long trousers and long sleeved shirts and thereby protect
themselves from sand flies, he said citing an example.
Dengue is still widely prevalent in the country, with nearly 6,500
suspected cases mainly from the Western Province reported to the
Epidemiology Unit since January this year.
The Health Ministry is thus poised to launch its first Mosquito
Control Week from April 2-8.
A media briefing on the Prevention and Control of Vector-borne
diseases will be held on April 1 at the BMICH, and a website of the
National Dengue Control Unit was also launched under the Presidential
Task Force on Dengue Control.
Yesterday's Technical discussions also focused on the current, past
and re-emerging vector-borne diseases, with health officials seeking the
support of all sectors of the public to make this collaborative effort,