University of Moratuwa, Katubedda, Sri Lanka.

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Cleanse-D – අවදානමට පෙර සූදානමක්

Dengue is the fastest-growing mosquito-borne viral infection, causing several hundreds of deaths in Sri Lanka each year. During the year 2017, a total of 185,969 suspected Dengue cases have been reported to the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health (MoH) of Sri Lanka, with over 320 deaths making it the largest Dengue outbreak experienced by Sri Lanka for last three decades.

The project Cleanse-D was initiated to cleanse out the disastrous Dengue from our mother Lanka. Transmission of Dengue requires mosquitoes as vectors. Therefore, prevention depends on protection from the bites of the mosquito that transmits the disease as well as removal and modification of mosquito breeding sites. It is important that the public get together to control the spread of this disease. Source reduction can be effective when performed regularly, and especially by the members of a community who are educated about vector control.

After successfully completing two phases of the project, the final phase of the cleanse-D project ‘අවදානමට පෙර සූදානමක්’ was carried out in Moratuwa and Katubedda areas which have been declared as high-risk Dengue zones by the Ministry of Health. After the non-academic strike, the university was going to recommence after almost 2 months. A high rainfall was received over a couple of weeks in mid-April and there was a big risk of Dengue menace coming alive again. Last year, about 2-3 deaths were reported in the university due to Dengue, while many students had become victims. The final phase consisted of an awareness campaign for the general public, which was targeted at the university neighbourhood, especially the boarding houses. In this phase, the general public was advised to clean their household to prevent mosquito breeding, be alert about mosquito breeding locations and how to identify dengue fever and methods of medication.

Communities that understand the need to make behavioural changes are the most effective in controlling dengue.

More photographs: Flickr

By Rtr. Dinushani Wikramarachchi

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