Health Ministry to seek the help of Army, police to combat dengue outbreakThe mosquito-borne disease has spread in 42 districts, infecting more than 4,600 people so far this year.
The Ministry of Health and Population has decided to seek assistance from all security agencies to deal with the dengue infection spread in 42 districts of the country.
The decision of the ministry comes after its efforts thus far failed to contain the spread of the virus.
“We will write formal letters to the Nepal Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and other concerned agencies for their help,” Mahendra Prasad Shrestha, spokesperson at the Health Ministry, told the Post.
“We have taken their help in the past to run a search and destroy drive in Chitwan district.”
During the 2009 dengue epidemic in Chitwan, the government had mobilised security forces to sensitise the local population about the risk of dengue infection. The move had succeeded in containing the virus, according to Shrestha.
Over 4,600 people have been infected with dengue virus as of Tuesday this year. Of then, 1,536 cases were reported in the last 40 days, including 563 in Province 1, 559 in Province 3, 339 in Gandaki Province, 56 in Province 5, 14 in Province 2 and six in Sudurpaschim Province. Karnali remains the only province where dengue has not been reported so far.
“Containing the dengue spread is the responsibility of all state agencies as well as individuals,” Health and Population Minister Upendra Yadav, told a multi-sectoral meeting in Kathmandu on Thursday. “The Health Ministry alone cannot do everything.”
The meeting was called to discuss ways to improve coordination and cooperation among various government and non-government agencies to deal with the growing dengue cases.
Health Secretary Pushpa Chaudhary said that she told the high-level meeting of secretaries that the Health Ministry alone could not control the virus spread.
“Role of each and every individual is important to control the virus,” said Chaudhary. “I have made it clear to all the secretaries that both inter-sectoral, as well as multi-sectoral efforts and political willpower, is needed.”
Representatives of the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Education, Nepal Army, Nepal Police, officials from Provincial Health Directorates and local levels were present in the meeting.