Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
After successfully combating the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi government has stepped up measures to control the spread of various vector-borne and water-borne diseases. Covid surveillance system will now be used to curb malaria, dengue, and chikungunya cases in the state.
Upgrading its guard against the vector-borne, water borne, and other various communicable diseases ahead of the monsoon, as per the change in surveillance system adopted by the state health department, instead of waiting for an outbreak, which means cases from more than one house in a particular area, now each case will be recorded for contact tracing.
As informed by Dr Ramesh Chandra Pandey, additional director, malaria and vector-borne diseases, each case of malaria, dengue, or chikungunya as it comes will be notified to their office from all over the state. Within a day, a rapid response team will reach the house of the patient and screen people in 50 homes in the surrounding. Under the stringent containment mechanism adopted by the government, the people will also be made aware of measures to eliminate mesquite breeding and will be educated about precautionary measures.
In case of confirmation of a positive case, each positive case is reported on a CRS-pro portal which is monitored by the nodal officer. In Covid cases also, contact tracing for each positive case was done immediately and sampling of all those with symptoms was done to check if the infection had spread among contacts of a Covid-positive case under the ‘Trace, Test and Treat’ mechanism adopted by the government.
In order to prepare for the fight against dengue, rapid response (RR) teams have been formed at the block level to take swift action. Earlier, the RR teams were formed only at the district level. The surveillance by rapid response teams will mostly check fever, which is a common symptom, apart from other symptoms. If someone has a fever, their blood slide will be made on the spot to check the cause.
Dr Vikas Singhal, Joint Director, Vector-borne diseases, informed, “The initiative has begun and will be intensified soon as the monsoon approaches the state.”
Surveillance would also include leptospirosis and scrub typhus, diseases caused by bacteria, though they did not occur frequently. Since January, 97 dengue cases have been reported in the state.
While the government and nodal agencies can ensure proper medical facilities, schemes, and initiatives to fight the spread of these diseases, it requires cooperation from people to succeed in this fight against vector-borne diseases.