to fight dengue mosquito menace
By Sachitra Indivara Mahendra.
Government is studying the possibility of introducing a bacteria
to contain the spread of dengue which has already claimed over 40
lives throughout the country, but health officials believe there
are drawbacks in using such a method.
committee consisting of Health Department officials, appointed by
Science and Technology Minister Prof. Tissa Vitarana, is looking
into the possibility of introducing the bacteria.
Indra Weerasinghe, Dr. Manel Yapa Bandara, Dr. Punsiri Fernando
and Dr. Nihal Abeysinghe are the committee members.
of the drawbacks of introducing the bacteria has been the cost.
Its control or effective period lasts approximately 7 or 10 days,
which means it should be introduced repeatedly.
studies conducted by the Health Department committee show that in
Ratnapura the effective period against mosquitoes was 10 days, while
in Kandalama it was 7 days, and the same period in the Nugegoda,
Dehiwala, and Moratuwa areas.
committee is of the opinion that the use of the bacteria has its
limits. Dr. Nihal Abeysinghe, chief epidemiologist of the Health
Ministry insists on keeping the country clean rather than rely on
importing bacteria. According to him, no country has got rid of
the mosquito menace by following only one method.
the Colombo Municipal Council has imported the bacteria identified
as Batillus Thuringiensis Israelensin (BTI) H 14 formulation from
Cuba, to be used in the Colombo area, to battle the disease carrying
mosquito. It is used in Cuba and Thailand.
Pradeep Kariyawasam, chief medical officer, Colombo Municipal Council,
said that they use a locally produced BTI as well, to a limited
extent. These bacteria are used in marshy areas and canals in the