legal framework will be strengthened to fight against dengue menace: Dr. Palitha Mahipala

The Prevention of Mosquito Breeding Act will expeditiously be amended to strengthen the legal framework to fight dengue, Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala said.

He said a Cabinet paper is already in order for the amendment.

Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has discussed the amendments with the Attorney General.

Mahipala further said, with the amendments, the Prevention of Mosquito Breeding Act will acquire more provisions and have a solid legal framework.

“We are soon to toughen the legal framework in dengue prevention. The National Dengue Control Unit (NDCU) and the Health Department officials have discussed the amendments to the Mosquito Breeding Prevention Act. We are soon to introduce these amendments with the Legal Draftsman Department,” Mahipala said.

He was addressing the media briefing at Epidemiology Unit in Colombo yesterday evening. He said an Online Reporting System to identify and get reports on dengue cases immediately will be set up.

“When a dengue patient is identified, the reports of the patient shall soon reach all the head offices via this system. Such a quick data gathering is very much important in fighting an epidemic. Health Ministry has already launched many prevention programmes on the data acquired by the online reporting system,” Mahipala said.

Responding to a question from Daily News on National Freedom Front's claim that inoperative status of the local governments to be a main cause for dengue spread, the Director General said the fight against dengue is a national endeavour. He said dengue prevention is a multipartite effort headed by the Health Ministry. “The Local Governments are responsible to prevent dengue spread in public venues. Local Government Minister has been very supportive to the national dengue prevention programmes,” he said.

Construction sites, schools and public venues are identified as main three dengue breeding places, Mahipala added. He said ecial programmes will be launched in January focusing on these locations.

National Dengue Control Unit Director Dr. K. Hasitha Tissera said the highest reported dengue cases are from the Colombo, Gampaha, Galle and Ampara districts respectively.

”83 dengue deaths are reported island wide this year. 15,400 dengue cases from Colombo, 6298 cases from Gampaha, 2808 cases from Galle and 815 cases from Kalmune, Ampara. Of these cases, 22 deaths are from Colombo, 12 from Gamapah, five from Galle and one from Kalmune. This years dengue death rate dropped down to a 0.16. Even though the reported dengue cases are relatively higher, the death rate is very low,” Dr. Tissera said. He said a special cleaning programme is due in schools on December 30 and 31with the Education Department.

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