Several national laws, such as the Pesticide Act 2018 and the City Corporation Act 2009, need to be revised to tackle the dengue menace, Manjur Ahmed Chowdhury, chairman of the Center of Governance Studies (CGS) and entomologist, said Saturday.
International guidelines such as those provided by the international health regulations (IHR) and the World Health Organisation recommendations can be ratified in Bangladesh to expedite the fight against yearly dengue outbreaks, he said.
Also, he stressed the importance of a properly integrated vector management system in Bangladesh and the need for a proper institution to handle this.
Manjur was addressing the seminar "Problems in Mosquito Control in the City: An Outline of Sustainable Solutions," hosted by the Center of Governance Studies (CGS) in the capital.
This year's rise in dengue infections compared to 2020 happened due to the delay of taking proper preventive measures as soon as the rainy season started in Bangladesh, said Touhid Uddin Ahmed, a former principal scientific officer at the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).
As no work was done to identify hotspots of dengue infections, and to target adult Aedes mosquitoes, it contributed to the rapid spread of the dengue outbreak, he said.
"Data shows alarming rates of increase in dengue infections in both the cities and rural areas of Bangladesh. The reason for this unchecked yearly rise in the dengue epidemic is due to the lack of a national goal set by the government; lack of policies related to mosquito control, guidance among the citizens to handle the epidemic, and a viable plan to deal with the vectors of transmission, namely adult Aedes mosquitoes," he added.
Dr GM Saifur Rahman, a medical entomologist and a faculty member of the National University, said: "The life cycle of Aedes mosquitoes is around six to eight days. So a routine weekly cleaning regiment needs to be implemented nationwide to clear out water from places that gather water during rain."
He also said dengue fever incubates inside the body for four to seven days before symptoms show, so one does not get sick immediately when mosquitoes bite them.