Campaign to control breeding of dengue fever mosquitoes begins
A major two-week campaign to combat the spread of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to control dengue fever cases in Muscat was launched on Monday. The Ministry of Health (MoH) is organising this campaign in collaboration with Muscat Municipality under the theme ‘Your Cooperation Indicates Your Awareness’.
The campaign was launched under the patronage of H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Obaid al Sa’eedi, Minister of Health at Majlis al Sayyida Fatima bint Ali Mosque in North Al Hail. A number of their excellencies and high-ranking officials attended the ceremony along with community members.
Speaking on the occasion, H E Dr Sa’eedi, said, “The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the primary species responsible for transmitting viruses such as Zika, dengue and chikungunya among people. We call upon citizens and residents to do their bit by cooperating with the field teams involved in the campaign from Tuesday.”
He said that people must seek information from official sources and ignore rumours. “Citizens and residents can communicate with the Ministry of Health’s contact centre (24441999) and the Muscat Municipality contact centre (1111) for any queries.”
MoH increases surveillance
The Ministry of Health (MoH) has said that around 1,000 personnel from different government entities will be part of the campaign.
Speaking to Muscat Daily , Dr Seif bin Salim al Abri, Director General of Diseases Surveillance and Control in MoH, said, “The first dengue case was registered on December 12, 2018. Our teams have found breeding sites of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in North and South Al Hail during field visits. We recorded 40 cases of dengue fever from December 12 to January 6.
“The campaign will begin in the wilayat of Seeb at 8am and continue till 2pm. There will be 1,000 personnel who will be divided into 200 teams. They will be wearing formal uniform and carry identification cards.”
Dr Abri said that the team members will visit 4,000 homes in a day.
“The campaign will also include visits to 65,000 facilities in Muscat.”
He said that the field teams have faced several challenges during visits since the first dengue case was recorded. “Several houses and farms were found closed. We also found about 80 per cent of water tanks in houses not covered.”
Dr Abri said that dengue may not be endemic to Oman but its spread can be checked by preventing accumulation of water. “Also, there is a need to change drinking water left for animals and birds outside on a regular basis to avoid insects from breeding there.
“Those who use tyres for decoration or gardening should ensure they are dry as they can be a breeding place for insects. We call upon the public to change water in the swimming pool regularly.”
The campaign which begins on Tuesday will continue till January 21.