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More malaria cases in Puducherry

Serena Josephine. M


PUDUCHERRY: “The number of malaria cases has witnessed a slight increase in Puducherry over the last few years. But the finding and awareness factor has improved here,” Assistant Director of Malaria and Filaria N. Nilamani said.

There were 42 malaria cases in 2004, and 44 cases in 2005. While there were 50 cases in 2006, the number of cases grew to 68 in 2007, he added.

“When we receive cases of malaria, we identify the locality of the persons. We carry out spraying activities in the locality in a circumferential manner covering 50 houses,” he said.

Last year, the department had taken up spraying activities in 3,578 houses. Meanwhile, all Primary Health Centres have facilities to collect blood smears, test for malaria and provide treatment if found positive.

At the malaria clinic, patients from various parts of Tamil Nadu including Villupuram, Tindivanam, Kallakurichi and Marakanam seek treatment and testing facilities.

“The test results are given in 10 minutes at the clinic. On receiving positive persons from Tamil Nadu, we inform the health authorities concerned in those districts,” Dr. Nilamani said.

The anopheles mosquito, which transmits malaria, breeds in clean water especially in water sumps, overhead tanks and water collected in vessels, he said. “The sumps and tanks should be sealed properly not allowing a gap of 1.5 millimetres which would facilitate the entry of mosquitoes. Water collected in vessels should be used within seven days.”

For personal protection, neem leaves can be spread outside houses and beds as they were detrimental to mosquitoes. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets would serve as pathological barriers, he said.

“We have personnel who identify and collect mosquitoes from households in every village. This is a regular exercise which tells us the vector density in areas,” he said.

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