World Malaria Day : Community based mosquito elimination campaign launched by Southern Command in Pune

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Malaria and other mosquito borne diseases such as Dengue, Japanese  encephalitis, Filariasis etc are a common cause of sickness and death. Reduction in mosquito density and man-mosquito contact are the fundamental strategies to eliminate the mosquito borne diseases.

Anti-larval activities, indoor residual spraying, knockdown spray against adult mosquitoes and personal protective measures, are carried out in stations by med/unit authorities. However, these efforts are proving inadequate.

World Malaria Day is observed on 25th Apr every year by WHO. On occasion of World Malaria Day this year, a Community Based Mosquito Elimination Campaign was launched by the medical units across Southern Command (IA).

The key features of the community participation in the campaign include,

(a)       Education of the personnel and family about importance and benefits of mosquito control and how one can contribute.

(b)       Community participation by serving pers in the unit premises and volunteer family members in the residential premises will include removal of potential breeding sites of mosquitoes by means of emptying and scrubbing of all firefighting buckets, water storage tanks and domestic water containers and allowing them to remain dry for a few hours once in seven days. In addition, landfilling of ditches,  clearing of stagnant water in drains and removal of the artificial containers in the vicinity supplement the a/m steps.

(c) Personnel and family will ensure strict adherence of personal protective measures.

(d) Vigilance and reporting of potential / actual mosquito breeding sites by members of community to coordinating station health authorities. To enable this every station should have a mobile number for coordination and reporting of mosquito breeding sites. This mobile number should be of representative of OIC SHO/ OC Health Section / SMO / SEMO, as available in the station.

The community drive under the guidance of the medical authorities with support of local administrative authorities will be conducted twice every week for four weeks w.e.f  25 April, once a week thereafter till 30 Oct 2023 and once in two weeks from 01 Nov till 24 Apr of next year. This cycle will continue till mosquitoes get eradicated.

Simultaneously, Station Health Organisations (SHOs) and Unit Health Squads will undertake extensive anti-larval and anti-adult mosquito measures in the areas of responsibility.

In Pune a talk was taken by Col Vipul Dutt, Col Health (SC), highlighting the measures that can be taken to effectively combat the mosquito menace and thus also reduce the disease burden of mosquito borne diseases. Maj Gen Hirdesh Sahni, MG (Med) SC, impressed upon the audience how each individual’s contribution is significant and a collective community participation can make elimination of mosquito a reality. This is facilitated by a short life span, few kms of flight range and requirement of stagnant wateri for breeding by mosquito. 

MH Ahmedabad also involved the students of Army Public School and motivated the students to actively participate in the campaign. At Jamnagar, La special drive has been started to include identification of areas’ of water stagnation point, blocked drains, leaking taps, overflowing overhead tanks. The talk held at MH Sagour was also attended by personnel of NCO academy, Mahar Regimental Centre. Similar talks have been held across the Southern Command (IA).

Lt Gen AK Singh, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM Army Commander Southern Command has complemented the team medical for the launch of the campaign and expressed confidence in elimination of mosquitoes within the military areas with the collaborative efforts of the administrative, medical and Military Engineering Services (MES).

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