How can a growing city’s planners and builders best join the fight against dengue?
The way urbanization impacts the spread of dengue is well understood. As Dr. Humne of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) said in an article in The Times of India, “Rise in population has given a fillip to construction activities whose sites have become breeding ground for mosquitoes.”
Dengue never stands still
Like many other diseases, dengue is a moving target. A study from Jalna District in western India highlighted how the growing resistance of pathogens to drugs and of mosquitoes to insecticides was a significant factor in the re-emergence of vector-borne diseases.
Another study, this time in Brazil’s Boa Vista districts, recorded a rapid increase in resistance following intense use of a pyrethroid insecticide, though it only achieved a slight reduction in levels of infestation.
Working together and staying informed
Just as healthcare professionals must keep up-to-date on diseases developing drug resistance, those caring for our cities – civic authorities, town planners and builders – need to stay on top of developments. “People from these professions must also update themselves about these diseases like doctors do," said city IMA secretary Dr. Kush Jhunjhunwala.
They must use this knowledge to develop alternative strategies within their dengue control programs. The Brazilian study suggests insecticide rotations and mixtures could delay the evolution of resistance, letting dengue control programs keep on track.
By working together and staying informed, professionals from many different disciplines can help halt the spread of dengue.