Aug 20 2014 11:32AM

It comes as a shocker to many but the fact remains unchanged. The districts known for achieving 100 percent literacy in 1996 have now been in limelight for contributing 88 percent of malaria cases in Karnataka.

The threat of the two districts being tagged as malaria ‘endemic’ by the WHO has raised eyebrows and also made the government machinery think to relook at these districts.

Representing the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme (NVBDCP) B G Prakash said that Mangalore and Udupi have been witnessing cases of malaria since 1996. 70 percent cases are reported from construction sites.

The cases reported during Jan- July 2014 showed Mangalore and Udupi contribute 55 and 33 percent respectively.

Today, being the World Mosquito Day, it has become necessary to look into cases of Malaria. With Malaria cases are increasing steadily in Dakshina Kannada District, finding ways to curb the menace has become imminent.

World Mosquito Day is commemoration of a British Doctor Sir Ronald Ross’s discovery of the female mosquito in the year 1897.

2014 – Malaria on a high

According to available statistics from Mangalore City Corporation, the number of malaria cases reported from January to April 2013 is 1,266. However, this has increased to 4,371 from January to July this year. While, Udupi recorded 947 cases of Malaria. It was found that 121 construction sites were breeding malaria-causing larvae. The larvae have been found in a majority of multi-storied buildings.

Dr Srinivas Kakkilaya, former Member of the Malaria Action Committee, said, the personnel hired by the MCC to destroy the source of Malaria are not well trained in their job.

Increased number of cases in Seven wards

As per the survey conducted record number of Malaria cases were found in  wards namely – Derebail North, Derebail North West, Kadri Northm Kankanady, Jeppu, Attavar and Mannagudda. While wards namely Derebail North, Court, Kadri Padavu, Bendur, Kankanady and Valencia have been recognised as high risk wards.

The Mangalore City Corporation is planning to tie up with leading institutions to spread awareness on Malaria.

Officials Say:

Mahabala Maarla, Mayor, Mangalore City Corporation

Malaria Control Action Committee has been revived to check the increasing cases of Malaria from different parts of the city. Doctors and representatives of private hospitals are made part of the Committee.

Notices have been issued to the owners of the buildings were malaria-causing larvae was found. If the building owners don’t initiate any action even after notices are served then their licences will be cancelled.

J R Lobo, MLA, Mangalore South

There is a need to create public awareness. MCC has been taking steps to curb the menace; however their effort will prove to be successful only when people co-operate.

Spraying and fogging offer only temporary solution as the mosquitoes are not killed. Further they are harmful to the environment.

Dr Srinivas Kakkilaya, Former Member, Action Committee

The need of the hour is to emphasize on early diagnosis and prompt treatment. The MCC also should take steps to revive the Malaria cell and appoint senior officials.

The MCC should involve team of workers and representatives of nursing and medical colleges to visit breeding spots and suggest ways and means to control mosquito breeding, Dr Kakkilaya added.

In addition, community medicine departments of medical colleges should be permitted to treat patients with malaria. These medical college and nursing college should be entrusted with the responsibility of conducting treatment in fixed ward.

Moideen Bava, MLA, Mangalore North

I have personally met people and spoken to them. It is difficult to monitor especially in few areas of Baikampady because there are migrants and construction site workers.

I have met members of clubs and associations who are helping us in curbing this menace.

Manjaiah Shetty, Health Officer, Mangalore City Corporation

As many as 27 medical establishments are not reporting the cases of Vector Borne Diseases, despite making requests and issuance of notices.

Of the 27 cases,17 have been served with second notices.

A B Ibrahim, Deputy Commissioner, Dakshina Kannada District

The MCC has been asked to close down medical hospitals and labs which do not submit reports.

They have been asked to take action against 2-3 establishments initially as this will prompt other establishments to adhere to the directions.

SMS based health application

An SMS based health application has been launched in the District to enable health workers to take preventive measures.

Once a positive case of Malaria is detected by the medical lab they will have to send SMS to 8861866993. This SMS will have information such as name of the patient, address, medical condition. Once the SMS reaches the control room, who in turn alert the health worker of the area where the patient resides too.

Once the respective health worker gets the message then he will visit the place and check the source of malaria and initiate preventive measures.