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Death to Dengue campaign wipes off mosquito breeding areas in Colombo

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  • Unveils a mobile app for every neighbourhood to fight dengue
  • Over 5,000 volunteers participated in the campaign 
  • Full-day campaign entirely cleaned 21 locations 

By Safna Malik 

The second edition of the Death to Dengue campaign which was launched on Saturday, 28 July with the aim of ending the dengue viral disease island wide concluded successfully.  

The full-day campaign was organised by Power World, one of the leading fitness centres in Sri Lanka and supported by Western Province of Health Service Department, Colombo Municipal Council and Sri Lanka Pest Control Association.

The operations were carried out for a day in a systematic order, clearing up 21 locations in the Western Province from Ragama to Panadura and Kaduwela to Bokundara. More than 5,000 volunteers from this location and active members from Power World gym island wide joined hands together to clean up mosquito breeding areas in their neighbourhood. 

In a statement Power World Gyms Founder and Managing Director Talavou Alailima stated, “I have spoken with all kinds of experts about how to beat dengue. In addition to spraying from helicopters, they have tried different methods to beat dengue. I had so many questions in my mind such as what really works? What really helps beat dengue? Finally I found the best method; it was the neighbourhood taking the responsibility for their neighbourhood. And that is the only way to bring down dengue to minimal levels. So we came up with not only a cleaning campaign but also a hi-tech mobile application that would engage the neighbourhood to a dengue free zone.”

Alailama considers the seriousness of dengue disease when his three sons were badly affected and hospitalised. He initiated the first phase of the Death to Dengue campaign on 5 and 6 August 2017, to create awareness of the danger that was lurking and to weaken dengue’s ability to multiply.

Along with the campaign, a new mobile application was introduced to the public: ‘Death to Dengue’ app was developed by IOM World Class Software and Services in the concept of ‘Building a neighbourhood which stands together for each other, to build a safe and secure neighbourhood’ and is now available in App Store and Google Play for android users. 

Developers of the Death to Dengue Mobile App guided the public on how it works; the app helps to rebuild unity and restore the community relationships of the neighbourhood. In the neighbourhood one person would be designated as the leader, who will be checking homes throughout the year to see mosquito breeding sites. 

The leader of the area is expected to go into each house and see that everything is in order. Checking will be happening every seven days. At the end he will click on the ‘submit’ icon and then the head of the home will get a message saying – ‘Your house was checked’. So that is how the systematic checking will take place in every neighbourhood.

The app also has a special icon called SOS which allows anyone to press that button if they sighted a mosquito breeding hotspot; the message immediately goes to the closest neighbourhood leader to handle it. If the leader does not respond to the alert, it will go to one of the mobile vehicles. Within a couple of hours the rapid response vehicle will go and check the site. If that does not happen it will be escalated to the central command who will alert the private pest control companies, who will pay a visit to that location.

The rapid response team vehicles will be all over Colombo and in the greater Colombo area. These are positioned so that whenever a patient is admitted to the hospital with dengue, immediately the information goes to the vehicle to inspect that area where the person came from. 

The campaign also distributed over 500 leaflets to children in Colombo and suburbs, with a hope that they would influence the parents to follow the instructions and guidelines such as how to act fast to treat a dengue affected child, and which food and medication would be suitable. 


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