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Mosquito control program launched nationwide

Mohamed Rehan
26 December 2023, MVT 15:15
From the survey conducted by Urbanco to assess mosquito-breeding grounds in Hulhumale-- Photo: Urbanco
Mohamed Rehan
26 December 2023, MVT 15:15

The government has announced its decision to launch a nationwide program to control mosquito populations following the recent discovery of Filariasis cases in the Maldives.

Health authorities have so far discovered 30 Indians and two Bangladesh nationals who tested positive for Filariasis during the recent medical screening camps.

The Minister of Cities, Local Government, and Public Works Adam Shareef Umar confirmed of the government's nationwide initiative to decontaminate mosquito breeding locations.

The nationwide campaign is slated to commence next week, which would run through collaborative efforts of all relevant government bodies, inclusive of island councils.

Minister Shareef confirmed collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Homeland Security and Technology, and the Ministry of Defense in the campaign. Additionally, Waste Management Corporation (WAMCO), the Maldives Police Service, and the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) are part of the anti-mosquito campaign taskforce in the Greater Malé region.

Meanwhile, Urbanco has launched its 'Filariain Rakkaa' (Protection from Filariasis) campaign, targeting 12 zones in Hulhumalé after designating zone leaders. The teams would survey and check locations that are possible breeding grounds for mosquitos, and actively take preventive measures.

The disease is caused by a chronic mosquito-borne parasitic infection. The mosquito type that carries this parasite is called Culex pipiens, and they are typically found in dirty or congested waters. As the vector, when the mosquito chronically bites people, the parasites are transmitted to the person. Inside the host body, the parasites begin to populate within the blood, leading to Filariasis.

Despite contracting the disease, symptoms may remain dormant for an extended period. However, the parasite would continue to affect the lymphatic system of the patient.

Symptoms include the swelling of extremities, hydroceles, and testicular masses in some cases. Additionally, fever and other associated symptoms are due to infection.

The last reported case of Filariasis was in 2004 at Laamu Atoll Fonadhoo. The locals of the island were administered the necessary medicine for a five-year period, and the island was reassessed for positive cases in 2008.

After the Maldives did not report any further cases, the World Health Organization in 2016 declared that the country had fully eradicated Filariasis.