There is a profusion of Aedes mosquito larvae at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) and Mugda Medical College Hospital in the city. Ironically, these are the hospitals where the highest number of dengue patients are being treated. This was revealed in the latest report of the government’s disease control unit.
Entomologists have said that Aedes mosquito larvae was found in 80 per cent of discarded bottles, buckets and bowls as well as window ledges of the Mugda hospital. It is a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Director of Mugda Medical College Hospital, Amin Ahmed Khan, told Prothom Alo, “It is only normal for mosquitoes to be here. The hospital is built on a marsh and there is water-logging all around when it rains.”
He said that the hospital is being extended upwards and water is accumulates on all the floors. The water from the air conditioners is not being cleared away either. So far, 30 nurses and 12 physicians of the hospital have been afflicted by dengue.
According to a survey carried out by the disease control unit from 31 July to 4 August, the most Aedes larvae was found in discarded utensils in Mugda Medical College Hospital, Kamalapur BRTC bus depot, Kamalapur railway station and the Shahjahanpur slum.
The situation is the same at the Gabtoli bus terminal, Dhaka Medical College Hospital and the Mirpur-12 BRTC bus depot. The survey said that 60 to 80 per cent of the discarded utensils in these places had Aedes mosquito larvae. Discarded tyres are the best places for mosquitoes to breed.
Under construction buildings and other infrastructure are best for mosquito breeding. Senior entomologist of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Bhupender Nagpal, during a recent visit to Dhaka, said that if mosquitoes in under construction buildings and other infrastructure could be destroyed, then dengue would decrease by 40 per cent. The concerned construction contractors should be responsible for destroying these mosquitoes.
The survey found Aedes mosquito larvae in 20 to 60 per cent of the discarded containers and other utensils of the Metrorail project, in the Mohakhali Korail slum, Syedabad bus terminal and Rajarbagh police lines. Work on the Metrorail project is being carried out from Uttara, to Pallabi, Mirpur, Farmgate, up till Motijheel.
Speaking to Prothom Alo about the results of the survey, BRAC chairperson, economist Hossain Zillur Rahman, said it is evident that the awareness efforts have been restricted to rhetoric. The government is talking about awareness, but the key places are not being cleaned or rid of mosquitoes. Awareness has to be defined by action.