Wee bite big threat.

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graft courtsey WHO, IVM

graph  courtsey WHO, IVM

Small bite big threat.

April 7th is the world Health Day.

This year WHO  has dedicated it to the cause of vector borne diseases and campaign is

So what actually is a vector borne disease, it is a form of zoonosis, or disease transmitted by animals. Here the animals such as mosquito, bugs, ticks, flies and freshwater snails are the disease carriers.  These animals transmit the disease person to person and place to place.

The  sometimes the insects are the primary hosts, sometimes they are the secondary hosts and the transmission occurs from through contaminated water or food, or at times directly through bites.

Poorly designed irrigation and water system, inadequate housing, poor waste disposal and water storage deforestation and loss of biodiversity are call the factors contributing to the vector borne disease spread.

WHO has taken on itself to help families living in the disease area to protect themselves. It also creases awareness in travellers about the disease allowing them to take adequate precautions. Working with the environment is another area that WHO has begun works in.

WHO has come up with an Integrated Vector Management (IVM) strategy that is designed to achieve disease control in a cost effective manner and minimize damage to biodiversity. The IVM uses multiple method of vector control, stressing the importance of understanding the local vector ecology and local patterns of disease transmission and then choosing the appreciate vector control tools from the available options.

This includes

  • Environment management strategies to eliminate vector breeding grounds.
  • Using biologic controls like bacterial larvicides and larvivorous fish.

Chemical methods are used when other methods fail.

Trails have been conducted using insecticide treated bed-nets.

IVM requires a multi sectorial approach for disease control, for example, health impact assessments of new infrastructure development this can help in identifying potential impact on vector borne diseases. IVM is not a panacea for all disease but it does create a sustainable reduction in disease and transmission rates. IVM  field experiences have been documented as cost-effective terms of disease control and potential generators of economic co-benefits in terms of development and growth.

When it came to our contribution we wondered what we could do other than blog, write or conducted meaningless seminars.  We realized that we needed to come with a comprehensive preventive health care program which the department of public health has done, but is unable to implement due to the sheer lack of manpower.

But before we even get there can we take our responsibilities as citizens and healthcare professionals a little more seriously and find out couple of things, like who is the healthcare provider I don’t mean the private practitioner I mean the person from the primary healthcare center. How can we connect with them and the environmentalists to ensure we have in harmony with nature and biodiversity.

 

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