President’s Secretary, Mr. Saman Ekanayake, has issued instructions to the Ministry of Health, urging them to continue implementing dengue control programs in collaboration with the Dengue Control Task Force. The Ministry of Health has launched a comprehensive program nationwide to combat the spread of dengue.
Dr. Nalin Ariyaratne, the Director of the National Dengue Control Unit, has reported an increase of approximately 2,000 dengue cases from the first quarter of last year to the present, extending up to 2023. He has expressed concern over the possibility of surpassing last year’s record of 11,000 cases reported in June and July. The health authorities are working diligently to prevent a similar situation this year.
To mitigate the spread of dengue, the Ministry of Health has proposed the designation of every Friday as a cleaning day. This measure aims to reduce the prevalence of dengue by emphasizing cleanliness and eliminating breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
According to the latest data from the National Dengue Control Program, there have been 22 reported deaths and 34,511 dengue cases across the island from January 2023 to May 16. The highest number of cases, amounting to 17,049, has been reported in the Western Province. Specifically, the Gampaha District has reported 7,797 cases, the Colombo District 7,219 cases, and the Kalutara District 2,033 cases. Additionally, the Puttalam District recorded 2,463 cases.
Furthermore, the National Dengue Control Program has identified 59 Medical Officer of Health (MoH) Divisions across the island as Dengue High-Risk Zones.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health advises the heads of government institutions, schools, and other establishments to inspect and clean potential mosquito breeding sites. Regular inspections of residential and commercial premises in urban and rural areas are also recommended. The use of loudspeakers to disseminate information, the identification of dengue patients, and the implementation of necessary measures such as fumigation and on-site inspections to destroy dengue-carrying mosquitoes and larvae are emphasized. Legal action will be taken against individuals and institutions failing to maintain cleanliness.
The health department emphasizes that the success of the dengue control program depends not only on their intervention but also on the support of the general public. Active participation and cooperation from the community are vital to effectively combat the spread of dengue.