Dengue cases surge with rainfall and climate change onset: World Bank

Parvez Babul

Iffat Mahmud, Senior Operations Officer and Task Team Leader of World Bank said that the number of dengue cases rises in Bangladesh in the months of rainfall. Weather patterns and climate change are playing role with the rain for increasing dengue cases.

During sharing her presentation for the journalists, titled: “Impact of Dengue Outbreak Due to Climate Change” on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, she said, “Rainfall between 200mm-800mm, temperatures of 25°C-35°C and humidity of 60%-80% provide ideal conditions for Aedes mosquito breeding. ”

The information was shared at a workshop, called: “Dengue Prevention and Control: Information Sharing Session” at a hotel in the capital. Local Government Division, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development, and cooperatives (LGRD) organized the event with the support of World Bank.

Iffat Mahmud’s presentation highlighted that Aedes mosquitoes primarily breed in freshwater that includes the water saved on Raw and Banana leaves in the villages. The main dengue season typically spans from May to either July or September.

Iffat mentioned that an extended dengue season can start from January, particularly if there is increased rainfall, as seen in 2022. Cases can then rise from April and continue until December.

Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Md Tajul Islam said, “From the year’s start, city corporations received ample support from the ministry, ensuring they had the necessary drugs, equipment, and manpower to tackle Aedes mosquitoes. Nonetheless, the record number of deaths due to dengue this year is deeply concerning and distressing. Due to geographical location, Bangladesh faces significant challenges controlling mosquito-borne diseases.

The LGRD minister added that we are not adversaries; we are partners. It is crucial to discuss any uncertainties in dengue prevention and control. Replying to a question of a journalist, why the numbers had not decreased despite taking initiatives, the minister said, “Our infection and death rates this year surpassed all prior records. The World Bank suggests that dengue spreads mainly during rainy seasons.  So awareness of the people and active participation to follow the guidelines are vital for mosquito prevention and control.

The minister further said, “We request all the journalists as our stakeholders to cover the dengue issues widely so that the people become aware to prevent dengue cases accordingly.”

World Bank’s Country Director for Bangladesh Abdoulaye Seck said, “The rate of dengue is rising alarmingly. We need to make awareness of all the people of the country both in urban and rural areas.”

Abdoulaye Seck added that journalists, I mean the Media have the power to disseminate right information at the right time at the right place. So they should do the same to prevent and control dengue cases too.


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