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24 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Proactive preparedness against dengue

The missing link of the whole truth will be found in the unimplemented assigned responsibility of the concerned authorities
SAKIB HASAN
Proactive preparedness against dengue

The deadly dengue is longer confined to the geographical boundary of the capital city Dhaka. At the moment it has already spilled over almost all parts of the country and thus snowballed into a nationwide phenomenon. Although it is widely expected that the intensity and fatality of dengue infection will be reduced to a tolerable minimum with the recession of the monsoon water from the submerged areas, still the fickleness of the changing climate will ultimately decide the course of this disease. Surrounded by these circumstances on the ground, building a tenable responding defense against dengue is practically a serious concern as well as a tougher challenge for Bangladesh.

Prevention is always better than cure, a very popular catchword, has once again proved to be true in the case of Bangladesh. Only recently the High Court has expressed its dissatisfaction over the overall performance of two units of Dhaka City Corporation in defending the city-dwellers against dengue in a proactive way. The dual High Court bench of justice F R M Nazmul Ahasan and justice K M Kamrul Kader in an observation has mentioned that though the court had suggested the corporations back in February to take necessary precautionary measures against dengue, the implementing authorities of the corporations didn’t undertake any effective preventive measures as such. Instead, the Corporations, the bench alleged, the corporations cleaned the roads whereas dengue-carrier the Aedes mosquitoes lay eggs on the water especially clean standing or stagnant water. Finally, the bench has observed that it was the primary responsibility of the corporations to spray anti-Aedes medicines on the probable breeding places in the city.

As per official records, 48 dengue-infected patients have died so far. The unofficial records put the death toll at 70. Thousands of infected patients are being treated in innumerable hospitals and clinics in Dhaka and in many places across the country. Who will take the responsibility of these deaths? If we say that unawareness of the mass people is responsible for undesirable catastrophe, it will be just a partial truth regarding the on-stage Aedes episode. Moreover, this sort of rhetorical answer will be far from being a fitting reply to the question raised. Even if we take it for granted that mass unawareness regarding dengue is largely responsible for the quick spreading of dengue, it doesn’t mean the whole truth.

The missing link of the whole truth will be found in the unimplemented assigned responsibility of the concerned authorities. None can deny that it was an assigned responsibility of the corporations to spread anti-Aedes medicines well ahead of the actual catastrophe. So the question of shirking the entrusted responsibility on the part of the concerned corporations naturally arises. At the same time, the gross reluctance of the concerned corporations towards a high serious public concern is conspicuously noticed. Negligence and reluctance towards the issues of the mass people involving their life and death have long been a rampant culture among public servants of Bangladesh. Many of these public servants seemingly incarnate themselves being the colonial masters of the subservient tenants.

This heinous practice goes straight against the spirit of our War of Liberation and on the basis of this basic principle of people’s sovereignty, People’s Republic of Bangladesh was established back in 1971. However, the existing practices and customs in many cases do hardly correspond and conform to the stipulated clauses and provisions of our sovereign constitution. Committed and accountable civil servants have been reduced to a minuscule minority. If the institution of accountability is not established firmly and the fatal lapses on the part of the responsible public servants are not addressed with proportionate punishment, no bell will ring from the cat’s neck.

Apart from Bangladesh, countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, India and many other countries across the globe especially in Southeast Asia and Latin America die of dengue hemorrhagic fever every year. Indonesia is reportedly the country with highest number of dengue cases. Philippines has already declared a dengue epidemic in 2019 after 600 dead and 150,000 infected cases have been reported. Bangladesh recorded 56,369 dengue patients so far in 2019 and among them 37,908 patients have been hospitalized in the first 19 days of August. Dengue statistics of Bangladesh in 2019 speaks it well that it has already been snowballed into an epidemic and all post-breakout measures to redress the sufferings seem to gradually go beyond the controlling grip.

Curbing the quick spread of dengue fever overnight through the post-infection curative measures is just a utopia simply because of the grisly ferocity of its nature. Since the disease attacks the blood platelets of the humans, it becomes all the more dangerous and life-threatening for the humans because non-function of this essential non-nucleus cell causes profuse bleeding from different parts of the body.

For combating dengue more effectively and fruitfully, we have to follow the examples of endemic countries all the year round. Malaysia may be a case in point here. The concerned Malay authorities entrusted with the task of preventing dengue spread effective anti-Aedes medicines all over the country all the year round as per schedule. Once a Bangladeshi expat businessman living in Malaysia was attacked with dengue fever, he was immediately shifted to a hospital which was well-equipped for fighting dengue.

Initially, he was given 20/30 drops of saline per minute so that he can be forced to urinate every half an hour with a view to maintaining the platelets level of blood. When the infected Bangladeshi began to improve, the doctors asked him about his whereabouts. Upon knowing his hereabouts, the concerned people went to the place and spread medicines. Even in Kolkata, there has always been a proactive preparedness on the part of the Kolkata City Corporation authority to defend against dengue. In 2019, Kolkata City Corporation spread anti-Aedes medicines three months ahead of the monsoon. Without any prior preparedness, it is simply impossible to reduce the loss of lives from dengue fever.      

 

 The writer is Assistant Professor of English, Bogura Cantonment Public School & College.

 E-mail:shasanbogra1@gmail.com

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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