Posted On Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 09:57:54 AM
|The PMC’s fumigation drive in May 2012
The State health department has run out of the insecticide that is used to fight the breeding of mosquitoes. Every three months, Cyfluthrin has to be sprayed in areas where mosquitoes breed to kill larvae. Failing this, mosquitoes tend to breed with resistance to the chemical.
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had its last pest control fogging drive between May 14 and May 28. If the drive is to be successfully carried out then a second round within 60 to 90 days is mandatory to avoid mosquitoes with resistance to the drug from breeding.
The 3-month deadline for the fogging passed on August 15. Last year, when there was a similar shortage of the chemical, it was bought from Kolkata. There has been no such initiative this time.
A well-placed source in the PMC purchase department, on condition of anonymity said, “There is a huge shortage of Cyfluthrin powder due to which health assistants and MPWs from the city and Pimpri-Chinchwad are not able to fumigate high-risk areas.
The tender procedure is not completed yet and it will take at least a month to bring new stock; but the deadline of August 15 is over.”
Now, the health department has identified some high-risk places in both the PMC and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), rural Pune and three Cantonment Board limits. This situation could well lead to a rise in the cases of chikungunya, dengue and malaria in the city.
As per the health department official during the last monsoons, there was a shortage of Cyfluthrin too. Treating the situation as an emergency, the authorities brought in Cyfluthrin from Kolkata. Sources also revealed that in case of a delay, the effect of the earlier fogging drive goes in vain and mosquitoes with a higher resistance to the drug emerges.
Talking to Mirror, Dr R B Nigde, assistant health director of the State health department said, “As per my information the last fogging drive was held between May 14 and May 28 and the stock of Cyfluthrin must be intact in the warehouses. The delay must have taken place because of a delay in
transport. It is the responsibility of each district malaria office to ensure the fogging is carried out in the specified time frame. However, we will look into the matter.”
State epidemiologist Dr Parade Awate said, “Cyfluthrin is being sprayed at the identified high-risk or sensitive areas in the State. It is mandatory to spray Cyfluthrin in February-March, in May-June and later on after August. If there is a shortage of such chemicals it is the responsibility of local health authorities to ensure the supply.”
Uptil now, there have 11 cases of Malaria in Pimple Saudagar of Pimpri-Chinchwad. All the diseased are labourers. Describing high-risk areas, Dr Awate said, “Labourers staying near construction areas at the highest risk of contracting malaria.
In Mumbai, it is mandatory for each to keep fogging activities at their construction site to avoid an epidemic. That is why the state capital has comparatively low figures as compared to other areas.”