WAR AGAINST MOSQUITOES TO SAVE INDIANS FROM KILLER DISEASES

Prof.T.Shivaji Rao,

Environmentalist, Parasitologist and Director, College of Engineering,GITAM

 

1. Purpose: The following information makes people realist that unless they work as soldiers to fight against the rapid growth of emerging killer diseases like dengue and other diseases transmitted by the mosquitoes  they cannot expect victory in the battle against the mosquitoes.  Central and state Governments alone cannot succeed in this war without the sustained support of the students, teachers and the people.  The female mosquito lays 100 to 300 eggs at a time for about 10 times in its life over moist lands or on stagnated water surfaces.  Depending upon temperature the eggs become larva in 2 to 3 days and the larva  become pupa in 4 to 5 days and the pupa becomes adult in 2 to 3 days.  The life span is about a fortnight and the flight range is about 0.5km to 3 km.  In Cochin mosquito bites received by a person in a year 20 to 2400.  50 crores in the world ( 1 in 10 persons) suffer from one or mor eof the mosquito-borne diseases.  Their prevalence depends on:climatic changes, parasitic load in community, socio-cultural Developmental works, human interferences.

 

MOSQUITO PREVENTION AND CONTROL MEASURES

S.No.

Breeding Places

Control Action

Remarks

1.

Residential Areas

 

 

 

a) Stagnate water containers like flower vases, air coolers, water tubs

Drain away stagnated water twice a week

Water containers must be covered with lids

 

 

b) Overhead tanks used for storage of drinking water

Introduce small Guppies  and Gambusia fishes that eat mosquito larva at suitable intervals

 

 

c) Septic tanks

Roof of septic tank must be kept air tight, vent pipes and effluent pipes from the tank must be closed with plastic nylon mesh sheet and regularly checked.

 

 

d)Katcha drains and lined street drains around the houses

Sanitary staff must keep the drains clean at least on alternate days to avoid stagnation of water

 

2.

Public places:

 

 

 

a) Village tanks

Vegetation on the margins of tanks must be cleared regularly.  Larvivorus Guppies and Gambusia fish must be introduced into the tanks

 

 

b) Outfall sullage  drains

The drain must be properly lined and rubbish must be cleared to enable to free flow of sullage, if there are stagnate pockets on the sides they should be either drained or filled or oils and chemicals must be sprayed to kill the mosquitoes

 

 

c) Meandering streams

Meandering streams must be also channelised properly and treated as per out fall sullage drains

 

 

d) Stagnate pools in open fields, quary pits and depressions, disused wells

Stagnate pools in open fields must be drained or larvicidal oils and chemicals may be used

 

 

e) Marshy lands

Marshy lands must be channelised for free flow of water.  Biological controls may be used including guppies and gambusia fishes

 

 

f) Garbage dumps

Garbage dumps must be examined for removal of tins or bottles that collect rain water become breeding places

 

 

g) agricultural fields

Larvivorus fishes like Guppies and Gambusia may be used and proper drainage facility may be provided to avoid stagnation of water.

 

 

  

 Control Method

Larvicidal

Adulticidal

Chemical

Bacillus sphaericus, Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, Monomolecular film, oils, Methoprene, Temephos

Malathion, Naled Fenthion, Permethrin, Pyrethrins, DDT

Biological

Nosema algera (Protozoa), some fungus Romanomermis iyengari (nematode), Mesocyclop longisetus (copepod) Guppies, Gambusia, Ducks etc., water insects, Nymphs

Dragon flies, Bats, Birds, Frogs, Turtles, insects, lizards, spiders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Role of students, Teachers, Medical Officers and NGO’s

  1. The students and teachers must monitor for 365 days in a year
  2. The Medical Practitioners must immediately notify to the Government about the incidence of the mosquito-borne diseases like Dengue, Chikun Gunya, Brain fever and  Malaria since mosquitoes have developed resistance for insecticides and the parasites have developed resistance for some drugs and hence one has to be alert.
  3. The students must help in gathering data on all the larval habitats in residential and industrial areas in rural and urban areas through regular field surveys
  4. The Monitoring Committees must meet once in a week for review and  ensure implementation of control measures by selecting the chemical, biological and other drainage engineering measures suited for each larval breeding location.
  5. Extensive Public Health Education programs must be taken up to enlist the whole hearted public cooperation in the prevention and control of  mosquito-borne diseases which are re-emerging on extensive scale throughout the country.
  6. Extensive use of mass media including Radio, Television, and Cinemas must be made to create proper awareness about the urgent need for mosquito control to protect public health by preventing the spread of the above killer diseases.

In India, there is no separate Mosquito control programme as it is linked with sanitation and solid waste disposal which is carried out by Municiapalities or Panchayats.  Most of the Municipalities and Panchayats are unable to undertake, mosquito control due to various reasons.  Master plans are developed by VCRC for Pondicheri, Bangalore, Neyveli, Cochin.