Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Dengue scare continued

The dengue scare is really growing. I was watching news today, and there was a large amount of time (around 15 minutes) spent on the dengue cases. Even by normal media standards, this is a fairly large amount of time. And to make it more catchy, they have started calling them killer mosquitos. This got even more spicy with the unfortunate news that 2 of Dr. Manmohan Snigh's relatives are also down with dengue. And of course, people in AIIMS are down with it, and so are people in other cities.
It is so easy to blame killer mosquitos. This is actually a misnomer. The insects are just doing what they are genetically programmed to do, they certainly do not know that they are going to infect people and kill them. If we have to call anybody killer, then we should target the people who let such conditions occur that these mosquitos can breed and be near people. There are so many ways that they can breed; water left in coolers, stagnant water, unclean conditions in the neighborhood. A lot of these are things that can be easily done, but how many people are there actually who bother to check up their cooler when they see an advertisement giving details of what needs to be done ? And let us not even talk about keeping a clean neighborhood, it is certainly not our responsibility.
It only becomes our responsibility when somebody in my family gets affected !! If we were to get into the blame game, there is a large amount to spread around; for starters the municipal authorities whose responsibility it is to keep the city clean, the Union Health Ministry who is supposed to have advance warning of such things as they are developing so that they can prevent things from escalating out of control, and so on. Otherwise, we will have the usual case where the health minister claims that people are not dying due to the disease but due to the side effects. A fat lot of good this does to the people who are getting affected and their families.
But at a level, it is also our responsibility. If we can be more aware of our sorroundings, and try to keep things clean, it will make things much better. It really does not take too much, if the neighborhood has unclean parts, then some amount of group initiative including getting responsible people to work towards making things better will work wonders. And of course, it would be a very important bit of advice to not contribute to making sorroundings even worse.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 9:47 AM