Say NO to Dengue! It’s a wrap
Sri Lanka loses many lives due to the lack of awareness and irresponsible acts of its citizens, when it comes to curbing diseases. One such disease is Dengue. The Rotaract club of SLIIT in collaboration with the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) Kaduwela, initiated the project Say No to Dengue. This project was implemented in three phases; Dengue house inspections, Online awareness campaign and development of an Application for the Public Health Inspectors(PHI).
In phase one, the faithful volunteers of the Rotaract club of SLIIT joined the officers of MOH, Kaduwela with one aim. That is to go about inspecting and looking for ways in which they can stop the spread of Dengue. The Rotaractors were given general instructions that should be followed during the house inspections. They were also briefed on how the form that keeps records of the visits should be filled. The members were accompanied by an officer and given the unique opportunity to go for inspections where they took action to get rid of dengue breeding spots.
A day’s visit would be the Rotaractors gathering at the MOH, early in the morning and getting divided into teams. Then the groups are dispersed into designated lanes in a particular location. During our phase, Hokandara, Athurugiriya and Malabe are some such locations that were covered. The residents were informed on ways that can prevent the spread of dengue such as disposing tyres and containers that collect water, putting a net over open wells, cleaning the back of the fridge as water can collect on the pan etc.
We also got to see live larvae in pots and the inspectors immediately warned the house owners in such cases. After tiresome inspections under the scorching sun, on some days the volunteers get to enjoy a meal of Manyokka and sambol served in the traditional way on a Kanda leaf, courtesy of the generous MOH officers.
This phase was indeed a different experience for the club members, as we were given a huge responsibility and role to play in this fight against Dengue. After these inspections, it has become an instinct in all of us , to immediately clean away any spot that is vulnerable for breeding of dengue. The club members joined the MOH in their routine house inspections for six months. By doing so , the PHIs also appreciated our help as it increased the area that could be covered in one visit, thereby preventing the spread of dengue to a greater extent.
The second phase of conducting an online awareness campaign was initiated under the request of Mr. Sekara, an inspector at the MOH , Kaduwela. He stated that the public is not aware of the spread of dengue and the dangers it brings upon the society. Thus the club designed several posters that included general information on the spread, prevention and treatment of this deadly disease. Initially the awareness was on what dengue, how it spreads and the life cycle of the Aedes mosquito. The next few posters focused on the prevention and treatment of this disease and was made to be more graphical to grab a bigger audience. The poster campaign also highlighted the severity of dengue by sharing posters based on statistics from the Ministry of Health. This online campaign was done across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp social media platforms, thus reaching to a larger crowd. The campaign was an eye opener to many and created a strong sense of awareness on the disease.
🦟What is dengue and how to identify the mosquito?
🦟The life cycle of the mosquito
🦟Symptoms of Dengue Disease
🦟Find out the 5 step Mozzie Wipeout
🦟Reported Dengue cases by month in Sri Lanka
🦟Yearly dengue incidence for 2016-2018
🦟Tips for dengue Prevention
While spending our time with the inspectors we realized, the hassle they go through during the visits and we wanted to contribute to them in some way, to make things easier. Thus under the final phase, the club under the consent of the MOH, designed an app named MosquiTracer to aid the health officers in their routine inspections.
This app was developed by our very own Rotaractor, Pradeep Nidarsha and it includes features that will greatly benefit the inspectors. The app is to be used as a tracker to keep records of the houses inspected along with maps and other details. This is so that the manual entry of information into the forms, is converted to a digital format so that the tracking and analyzing of inspection data is made more efficient. This phase will also help the community in the long run, by encouraging the PHI’s to work progressively in combating dengue.
Rotaract Club of SLIIT joined hands with MOH, Kaduwela to change the attitudes of the public in fighting against Dengue and make them act more responsibly towards curbing the spread. We also saw that in order to change a trend, it should start within us, and our volunteers made an impression not just on the society but on themselves. Together, we fight stronger and are louder when we Say No to Dengue!
Rtr. Sharoni Anthony & Rtr. Priyan Jerome