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City to launch drive against chikungunya

Staff Reporter

State-wide campaign to remove possible mosquito breeding areas also planned for Saturday and Sunday



AWARENESS CARD: Chennai Corporation issued chikungunya awareness card to school students on Thursday.

CHENNAI: The Chennai Corporation is launching an intensive campaign against chikungunya, following a high-level consultative meeting of the Health Minister and the Chief Secretary. It was decided at the meeting that a state-wide campaign to remove possible breeding locations of mosquitoes would be held on Saturday and Sunday.

The meeting concluded that the disease, treatment, field-level containment and larval and adult density of mosquitoes should be constantly monitored, that items likely to encourage mosquito breeding in houses should be removed and that dawn and dusk fogging operations be carried out to keep away the Aedes mosquito, which spreads chikungunya and bites during the day.

The Corporation has decided that, besides carrying out fogging operations, each ward in the civic body would be handled by a team of workers to ensure that the estimated 10 lakh houses in the city are covered.

The workers would be trained to remove items such as tyres, coconut shells, broken utensils and plastic pouches that are likely to collect water, facilitating the breeding of mosquitoes, from houses. They would also distribute pamphlets to improve awareness. Houses that have been covered in the operation would be marked with coloured chalk.

School children in government-run and private schools would be given Health Ambassador Cards to carry the message home. They would be motivated to remove articles likely to encourage mosquito breeding and place them outside for removal by the conservancy team. School heads should organise talks on the disease and take feedback from students about what kind of articles they have removed from their homes.

The Corporation would hold other awareness campaigns at Koyambedu Bus Terminus and Egmore and Central Railway Stations.

Mayor M. Subramanian said that the Corporation officials should work in tandem to spread information about and protect people from the disease at an awareness meeting about chikungunya at the Ripon Building here on Thursday. Earlier, he distributed wedding and maternity assistance worth Rs. 7.05 lakh to 47 beneficiaries at the Saidapet Zonal Office.

About 500 school teachers and members of women self help groups in Ambattur participated in a training camp on Thursday to tackle chikungunya.

Inaugurated by the Ambattur Municipal chairman K.N. Sekar, the camp had teachers from about 20 schools, including Government schools and private institutions. A municipal official said that the participants learnt about the symptoms of the disease and also the six health posts in Ambattur municipality for treatment. They were taught about the origin of the vector borne disease and also potential mosquito breeding areas such as overhead tanks, sumps and vessels used for storing water.

The municipal health officer T.Senthil Kumar said the candidates would in turn create awareness among students and the public in Ambattur. The two-hour camp also comprised an interactive session when the participants clarified their doubts and myths associated with the disease.

The teachers were enlightened about how to train the students as health ambassadors and reach out to the public, he said. The self help groups would be involved in anti-larval measures such as use of liquid disinfectant to control the mosquito breeding near the houses.

A campaign vehicle that would spread awareness about the disease daily in public places, including bus stands and markets, was also launched at the camp. The drive would continue for three months, Dr.Senthil Kumar added.

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