Dengue threat should not be forgotten - Health Minister | Daily News


Dengue threat should not be forgotten - Health Minister

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi cautioned the health officials to focus on the possibility of dengue raising its head again with the onset of the rainy season ahead.

As such she instructed the health authorities to take prior steps to prevent the danger of dengue in the country.

She pointed out that in the recent past there was a greater rise in dengue infections in urbanized and congested areas while the most number of cases was reported mid-year (May to July) in the Southwest Monsoon season and at the end of the year (October to January) in the Northeast monsoon season.

She made these observations during the meeting held yesterday with the officials of the dengue prevention unit.

The minister warned that with the focus on Covid-19 if measures are not taken to address the dengue situation, the country will have to face an unfortunate fate. Therefore, she instructed the health officials to take action to implement a proper programme to address the dengue issue and instructed them to pay special attention to the construction sites which have been stopped due to the current situation in the country, to ensure these sites don’t become dengue breeding grounds.

The first dengue case was reported in the country in 1962 and the first epidemic was reported in 1965-1966. According to records of the Epidemiology Unit, during the period from 1970 to 1980 there had been dengue epidemics reported and in 1996 it was included into the list of diseases and compulsory to be reported.

She said that according to statistics around 100,000 persons had contracted dengue.

The Secretary of the Health Ministry Badrani Jayawardena, Additional Secretary Dr. Lakshmi Somatunga, Deputy Director General (Public Health) Dr. Paba Palihawadana, Director of the National Dengue Prevention Unit Dr. Aruna Jayasekara and the Health Minister’s Private Secretary former Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Chairman Kanchana Jayaratne were present at the meeting.


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