Written By Himani Rathore and Saptak Ghosh
From wearing masks and social distancing to the unflinching dedication of COVID-19 vaccination and other foot soldiers, the ongoing pandemic has re-established the fact that healthcare is everyone’s responsibility and public participation is instrumental in supporting the existing healthcare ecosystem.
With Dengue cases rising at an alarming rate, it’s time to prioritize prevention through community participation to contain the infection. Several studies have revealed the behavioural changes at a community level as the most effective method of controlling dengue or any other communicable disease. These community-based behavioural changes are possible with educational initiatives as observed in the case of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Simple sanitary measures that can be adopted to control mosquito breeding at the source itself which limits the opportunities to lay eggs and development through the aquatic life stage. Physical methods include covering all open surfaces where water can be collected. Other methods include the use of synthetic insecticides that have been effectively used to protect humans from mosquito bites through insecticide-treated mosquito nets, fabrics, and indoor sprays. Despite the considerable progress made in reducing mosquito borne diseases, extensive usage of insecticides has caused serious health problems to humans and animals, insecticide resistance or insensitivity in mosquitoes, and environmental damage. As an alternative, plant-based bioinsecticides have, of late, garnered much popularity and have become a cornerstone of organic pesticides. They are not only popular in the current scenario but are much safer and less toxic alternative to synthetic compounds.
An individual’s approach to contribute to the community includes measure like maintaining basic sanitation, wearing protective clothing especially in cases of interactions in infected areas, keeping track of their symptoms and seeking help accordingly.
With no preventative vaccine available in the market, public participation along with government initiatives becomes the key strategy to combat Dengue. Hence, leveraging from the learnings of the Covid -19 pandemic there is a pressing need to initiate our individual and community role in the health eco-system of the country and mobilize the resources to contain the infection in the initial phase itself. Consistent interventions to nudge social-behavioural change can become a sustainable strategy to avoid any future health crisis.