NDCU cautions building contractors

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The National Dengue Control Unit (NDCU) urged contractors and owners of construction sites to be vigilant of dengue-breeding sites.

Consultant Community Physician, NDCU,
Dr. Nimalka Pannilahetti, on Friday (3) said the NDCU had appealed to the Ministry of Housing and local governments to instruct building companies and contractors to inform the Medical Officer of Health (MoH) so that they could brief them on measures to be taken to prevent and control mosquito breeding. She lamented however that they were yet to receive a response.   

Director NDCU, Dr. Sudath Samaraweera, said with the present economic difficulties and the high cost of building materials, many building constructions had been halted. These sites contain utensils such as buckets and barrels that are presently not being used, in which collected water provides breeding grounds for mosquitoes. “Contractors and owners of these places should be vigilant and clean up the places,” he said.

Dr. Samaraweera said from the beginning of this year till the end of May, Sri Lanka had reported a total of 24,523 dengue cases. May has the highest number, while on 1 June 313 cases were recorded. He urged the public to rid their homes, schools, workplaces, religious and other public places of all breeding grounds. The adverse North Westerly weather conditions have resulted in a marked increase in dengue.

“We may have forgotten the threat which dengue has posed to the country in the past with Covid-19. Having successfully controlled the pandemic, we have resumed our day-to-day activities,” he said, adding that the public should not forget that dengue still poses a serious threat to the country’s health service.

She appealed to the public to seek urgent medical attention 24 hours after the onset of fever. She said the delay in seeking medical care had been one of the primary factors contributing to dengue deaths. Responding to queries, she said the Unit had said the dengue death toll was more than what had been experienced by June 2021.

As was confirmed by the NDCU, by the end of last week, the number of dengue deaths was over twenty. 

By Dilanthi Jayamanne