Dengue Fever Handling Needs Cross-Sector Involvement

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M. Atoillah Isfandiari, dr., M.Kes, epidemiology expert being interviewed by UNAIR NEWS reporter (Photo: UNAIR NEWS)

UNAIR NEWS – The number of dengue fever cases in Indonesia is always high. Data from Ministry of Health showed dengue fever (DBD) patients in 2014 reached 71,668 people in 34 provinces. It was lower than in 2013 which reached 112,511 people in 34 provinces.

According to M. Atoillah Isfandiari, dr., M.Kes, epidemiology expert from UNAIR Faculty of Public Health, Indonesia as a tropical country is an ideal place for dengue fever vector breeding, Aedes aegypti. If the number of viral vector increases then the viral spread will be easily happened.

Second factor affects dengue fever cases is global warming. Before the climate change, dengue fever cases will increase in transitional season. At that time, rain rarely falls but there are water puddles as places of vector breeding.

“With the happening global warming or climate change, dengue fever cases did not culminate in certain months. It happened throughout the year even varied, but almost the whole year there were cases of DBD,” Atoillah said.

Third factor is the public awareness to clean potential places for Aedes Aegypti breeding like water container. The prevention of DBD mosquitoes breeding, according to Athoillah, with fogging is not effective because larvas are not killed only with fogging.

Furthermore, Athoillah also said that age group which vulnerable to this disease also shifted from kids to adult age group. It was based on a research conducted by anti-dengue medical team from Institute of Tropical Disease (ITD) UNAIR in 2011-2013. ITD research in 2013 showed 30 percent of DBD patients was adults.

Global warming also makes vulnerable areas shifted. Coastal areas used to be vulnerable to DBD because of their high temperature, now DBD also attacks high altitude areas. In East Java, no areas free of DBD, even high altitude area such as Malang.

The UNAIR Health Service Center (PLK) secretary also stated his appreciation to one of Surabaya election candidates who established mosquito breeding spots’ eradication movement. For Athoillah, the movement contributed to decrease DBD cases in the beginning of 2016. “It should be a routine. The fact is this year Surabaya is relatively safe from DBD compared to other regions,” he said.

DBD vector eradication needs cross-sector involvement. Government, private parties, and communities should be in synergy to eradicate DBD vector. “If water can be accessed easily and unlimitedly, like showers abroad, I think we can improve community’s behaviour in saving water. We always educate people on 3M program. Community’s cleanliness was a factor why 3M did not work well. In addition, I think there should be regulations on household waste,” Athoillah said. (*)

Author: Defrina Sukma S.

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