From the Editor-in-Chief: Citizens’ health issues need addressing

Enayetullah Khan
Wednesday, July 12th, 2017
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The authorities are reportedly taking measures towards rolling back the ailment chikunguniya, which has by now afflicted large numbers of city dwellers. It is about time. We understand that insecticides are being sprayed throughout the capital in a bid to control the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, which is of course fine. Even so, our question is one of why such anti-mosquito measures are not undertaken on a regular basis. There are a good number of areas in the city where employees of the city corporations are observed once in a blue moon spraying insecticides to prevent the spread of the mosquito menace. This irregularity is unacceptable, for it is proof that what citizens expect to be done by the authorities has essentially become a cavalier position on their part.

 

A planned and concerted campaign against mosquitoes should by now have led to a healthy atmosphere for citizens. Unfortunately, what we face at present is an onrush of mosquitoes in the evening, with the result that almost every household turns into a perfect breeding ground for these pests. Of course, there are all the insecticides, such as chemical sprays and coils that people use to keep themselves safe from mosquito bites and resultant ailments. But to what extent these sprays and coils themselves contribute to bad health, or a worsening of it, in citizens’ lives is a moot question. In other words, the absence of any effective and environment-friendly measures to contain the mosquito menace is a major impediment to dealing with such new issues as chikungunya. That only makes the case for more concrete measures that much more important.

 

At the other end, there is a grave need for citizens to be educated on the symptoms and treatment of chikungunya. We realize that no effective way of handling the disease, once it afflicts an individual, has yet been devised. But what can surely be done is for hospitals and clinics to open sections where an emergency handling of those falling prey to the disease can be done. As it is, chikungunya has been pushing victims to terrible conditions, the signs of it being rashes, severe pain in the joints, bad headaches and high body temperatures. It is therefore necessary for the health authorities to move in quickly with a response every time chikungunya lays a person low.

 

It is our expectation that the above suggestions, both in the matter of mosquito control and dealing with chikungunya, will be accorded more seriousness than has been given thus far.

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