The battle against dengue starts with us...
Once again, the onset of dengue has set off a tragic wheel in motion.
You hear of deaths that could have been avoided, precious children whose
loss will be deeply felt. We jaw jaw about dengue every year and then
forget all about it until the next year comes around and with it,
another row of dengue related deaths that I hope to God will never take
So where does it begin - obviously, in our homes and work places. All
of us, rich, poor, educated or not, are responsible for the dengue
mosquitoes who do not have to come from afar. They lay eggs comfortably
in our gardens, in the places we would never care to look. If each of us
is vigilant about our own homes and gardens and of course the immediate
environs outside our homes, we would not need to hear about yet another
While living in Europe some time ago, I remember how the residents
there are expected by law to keep their gardens clean, their windows
clean and the immediate area outside their homes, such as, staircases
etc clean. If you didnít the local authorities would pounce on you.
Maybe we need to bring in some kind of a legal framework to ensure
each of us do what we are supposed to do in the first place - take care
of the environs around us.
Easy breeding grounds
As reported in the media recently, some of the government
institutions have overgrown gardens and much neglected areas that are
undoubtedly a haven for dengue mosquitoes. Ideally, the employees of
these offices can organize a volunteer day to clean up the premises.
The danger of dengue mosquitoes is one that we all face - anyone can
be a victim.
To add insult to injury, the latest strains of the dengue virus can
take a life even as short as within a 24 hour period - which somehow
sends the message that no longer can you wait for the three day period
before taking a dengue test. Some of the cases where deaths were
reported, it seemed the patient only had a mild fever which often gets
Whether dengue is around or not, it should be a daily process for us
to take care of our gardens and homes. If we could keep those environs
clean, chances are that the dengue mosquitoes would not find easy
breeding grounds. But we forget all too soon and return to our lethargy
and laziness once the dengue menace subsides.
Dengue is not considered a life-threatening disease in other
countries because they have mastered the art of managing dengue fever.
We seem to have a long way to go in this regard although the last few
years have seen us struggle against dengue - this time around too, it
wonít be long until the disease acquires epidemic proportions.
Only a parent who has lost a child will know the pain - and a child
who has lost a parent will always mourn the loss. Dengue seems to be a
disease we have invited in, with our careless management of the
environment around us.
Start with ourselves
Not many of us care for the road outside our homes or the neglected
areas in our neighbourhood. How many of us take the initiative to check
our own homes for dengue mosquitoes? Have you checked the areas in your
roof that may collect water and create an ideal environment for the
mosquitoes to thrive? What about the plate rack that collects water
underneath or the toothbrush holder in the toilet? Some of these areas
may be breeding grounds for the mosquitoes without you ever knowing it.
Before we start blaming others, letís start with ourselves. Once we
have done everything we can to eradicate the dengue mosquito from our
own homes, we can go outside and start a dialogue that can hopefully
ensure all places where the mosquitoes can breed in our neighbourhood
are dealt with.
Let the fight against dengue start in our own back yards. If each of
us could take the fight personally and start on it, we can be sure that
lives will be saved and the fight against dengue can indeed succeed.