‘Smart cities’ must have a vector-control component

Vastavam web: Smart cities must have a vector-control component which needs to be included in strategic planning for urban development, said N S Dharmshaktu, principal advisor on public health in the Ministry of Health. Globally, around 80 per cent of the entire population is at risk of one or more vector-borne diseases. While, 77 per cent of the global burden of communicable disease is attributable to vector-borne diseases, Dharmshaktu said.

“We need web-based reporting on vector-borne diseases and also make malaria treatment training mandatory for doctors and public health workers,” Dharmshaktu said at the ASSOCHAM Dialogue on Protecting Communities: Vector Control in Action held here on Wednesday. With the steady decline of malaria cases in India, the signs are positive that its prevention and control measures are working effectively, Sen said.

Additionally, facilitating the adoption of integrated vector management and ensuring the implementation of vector control services in rural and urban areas can shrink the disease burden much faster in India, he added. He further said the cases of dengue rising globally whereas mortality has reduced from 3-4 per cent to below 1 per cent, Sen said. Dr Arun Kumar, Head of Environmental Science, Bayer South Asia, said vector borne diseases pose a significant risk to India due to rapid urbanisation, increased movement of people and goods and environmental changes.