People lack awareness on dengue

Hyderabad: Field workers of the health department who collect dengue data are not equipped to collect blood samples which will reveal the presence of the virus; they can just educate people on preventive measures in areas where dengue cases are reported.

This has very little impact as people pay scant attention. Said a health officer, “Kits to detect dengue are distributed in Khammam and Karimnagar and the same must be done for Hyderabad. But it is not happening. The education programme has been going on for the last five years but it has not shown the required results.”

Imparting education means telling people that they must have a ‘dry day’ when they drain out all water storage containers; they must not allow water to collect in flower trays, or allow it to stagnate in ponds, or in water fountains inside their compounds and homes. 

This education is imparted regularly, but the assessment shows that very little comes of it. A health officer said that blood testing kits must be made available to field staff, as it is in the malaria programme, and the exact incidence in the community noted. 

“This will help better intervention programmes,” he said. 

Area hospitals in King Koti, Malakpet, Golconda and Nampally have volunteers to help patients who use dengue test kits provided by Helping Hand Foundation. 

These kits are being used in collaboration with health officials so that people do not have to pay Rs 1,500-3,500 per test, which private hospitals charge.

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