Mosquitoes kill approximately 7.25 lakh people worldwide every year though all mosquitoes do not transmit life-threatening diseases, said Regional Director of World Health Organisation (WHO) South-East Asia Region Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh.”The diseases mosquitoes spread can result in bouts of debilitating fever, nausea and vomiting, compromising immune systems and disrupting economies. The South-East Asia Region is particularly affected,” she said.
Three mosquito-borne diseases– dengue, chikungunya and malaria –threaten the health and welfare of more than 1.4 billion people Region-wide, she said.And the first two of them are transmitted by the ‘Aedes aegypti’ mosquito, which can also spread Zika and yellow fever – diseases that threaten to take root, Dr Poonam added.The best way to control mosquito is to let them limited breeding opportunities and mitigating human-mosquito contact, she said.The WHO regional director suggested monitoring and disrupting standing water whenever it gathers on regular basis.Households that lack access to piped water must take special precautions, water storage containers should be fitted with tight lids, with care being taken to restore lids after every use to avoid mosquito infiltration, she said.Where storage vessels rely on rainwater, Dr Poonam suggested to use a fine-mesh covering that fitted to keep mosquitoes out.Cooperation with authorities carrying out house-to-house water treatment with approved chemical or biological materials is likewise necessary to keep households and neighborhoods safe. Wherever possible, piped water should be accessed and used, with authorities recognizing that a steady water supply is integral to the public’s health, she said.The WHO regional director said, “Aside from protecting health, the economic gains will be significant because every year, mosquito-borne illnesses account for millions of lost working hours and foregone earnings, treatment also incurs direct and indirect costs.”By investing in sustainable mosquito control measures, governments can not only save lives, but can avoid these costs and the economic burden they represent, she added.”Each one of us can greatly reduce mosquito populations and governments can support these efforts with targeted interventions that permanently modify our cities and towns,” she said.Dr. Poonam said, now is the time to make decisive, lasting gains in the struggle to prevent life-threatening mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, malaria, chikungunya and Zika.