On the occasion of World Malaria Day, Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Balbir Singh on Tuesday urged people of Punjab to strictly adhere to advisories issued by the Health Department to protect themselves from vector borne diseases including Malaria.
“With the onset of summer season, the breeding of mosquitoes increases as the environment becomes suitable for mosquito breeding,” he said, adding that these mosquitoes are called vectors because they are carriers of various diseases, which spread among humans.
Dr Balbir Singh said that keeping the goal of eliminating malaria from the country by the year 2030, all the officials of the health department have been instructed to intensify the anti-malaria activities, besides, increasing the active surveillance of the disease.
He said that the department has already made adequate arrangements for the prevention of malaria disease and various teams of the health department are constantly sensitising people on how to protect themselves from this deadly disease. “Testing and treatment of Malaria is absolutely free in all the government health institutions,” he added.
Terming that industries, local government, schools and colleges, Anganwadi etc could play a pivotal role in the fight against malaria, the Health Minister directed all the civil surgeons to hold an inter-departmental meetings with these institutions under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioners to jointly fight and eliminate malaria from the state.
Director Health and Family Welfare Dr Adarshpal Kaur said that malaria is a life-threatening disease that spreads among human beings via bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. “This mosquito breeds in clean water and bites only in late evening or early morning,” she said.
She explained that early symptoms may be mild, similar to febrile illness, which could be difficult to recognise as malaria. The mild symptoms of malaria include fever, chills and headache, while severe symptoms could lead to fatigue, nausea and breathing difficulties.
She advised people to use mosquito repellent creams or other means to prevent themselves from malaria. Mosquito breeding can also be averted by spraying black oil in ponds, she added.
Meanwhile, Director Dr Adarshpal Kaur accompanied by Director Health Services (FW) Dr Ravinderpal Kaur has also released a poster to sensitise people about symptoms and precautions to protect themselves from vector-borne diseases.
How to prevent yourself from Malaria?
— Clean coolers once a week and keep them dry at least for a day
— Do not keep any containers such as flower pots, broken items, tyres, etc. on rooftops to avoid collection of water
— All possible mosquito breeding sources and sites should be detected and eliminated
— Wear full-sleeved clothes and body should be covered
— Spray insecticides in and around the house
— Use mosquito repellent creams or other means to keep mosquitoes away
— Do not close the doors and windows when teams of outdoor fogging visit the area
— In case of fever always report to the health dispensary at the earliest and seek medical advice
— Do not use Ibrufen/Asprin in case of fever, use paracetamol.