Last Updated: October 02, 2023, 12:51 IST
Over 1,000 people in Bangladesh have died of dengue since the start of the year, official figures showed, in the worst recorded outbreak of the disease. Figures from the country’s health ministry published Sunday night said 1,006 people had died, among more than 2,00,000 confirmed cases.
Bangladesh reached the grim milestone after 17 more lives were claimed by the deadly virus in the 24 hours till Sunday morning, The Dhaka Tribune reported. These deaths come as an inter-ministerial meeting was convened at the Local Government Division, seeking solutions to contain the escalating crisis.
M Ibrahim, secretary of the Local Government Division, acknowledged the magnitude of the challenge that Bangladesh is facing. “Eradicating Aedes mosquitoes, the carriers of dengue is an uphill battle that cannot be won by city corporations or any single government entity alone. Collective engagement is the key to raising awareness among citizens, and collaborative cleanliness drives hold the promise of reducing dengue outbreaks,” he was quoted as saying by the Bangladeshi newspaper.
This dengue in Bangladesh comes as the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that dengue — and other diseases caused by mosquito-borne viruses such as chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika — are spreading faster and further due to climate change.
Earlier, medical officials in the country had said the country Bangladesh is struggling to cope with the outbreak because of a lack of a “sustainable policy” and because many do not know how to treat it. M Niatuzzaman, director of the state-run Mugda Medical College Hospital in Dhaka said Outside Dhaka and other big cities, medical professionals including nurses need better training in handling dengue cases, The Associated Press reported last month.
Dengue is common in tropical areas and causes high fevers, headaches, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain and, in the most serious cases, internal bleeding that leads to death. The previous highest number of deaths was in 2022, when 281 people are reported to have died during the entire year.
Md Tajul Islam, the Minister for Local Government, Rural Development, and Co-operatives (LGRD) promised that negligence in dealing with the crisis would not be tolerated, and significant financial resources are being allocated to reduce dengue cases. However, despite best efforts, public health experts have expressed concern over the virulence of the current dengue variant, which has led to an increase in deaths.