As the monsoon is about to begin in a week, public health officials are in the process of expediting dengue control measures by roping in volunteers from schools and colleges to help in clearing waste.
Senior officials said several teams, each comprising 50 members and headed by a health or a sanitary inspector, will fan out in vulnerable areas across the state and help remove potential breeding sites of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that transmit the virus that causes dengue.
Until September, about 2,536 dengue cases were reported in the state, the fifth highest in the country, and five deaths. According to studies, dengue incidence usually peaks in October followed by a gradual decline towards the beginning of the next year, reaching its lowest in February.
This year, the state government is focusing more on removing discarded material on large campuses. "At the household level, the incidence is largely in check owing to a series of awareness programs. The team of volunteers and workers will visit large campuses like bus depots, factories, railway yards and abandoned buildings to remove waste, including broken plastic containers and tyers that breed these mosquitoes," said K Kolandaisamy, director of public health.
"We are working with the Chennai Corporation to constitute a team for each zone. The exercise of removing waste will begin at 7am and go on till 5pm," said officials.