Red Cross scales up dengue prevention, mitigation & awareness, as the death toll surpasses 300, with over 105,000 people affected

Posted on Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

24/07/2017 – Colombo, Sri Lanka:  The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society has scaled up its support towards the National Dengue eradication programme. Accordingly, a sum of 50 million rupees has been allocated to activities to be conducted in the at risk districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara in the next few months.

As of now, over 301 people have died while another 105,153 affected by the disease. Districts of Colombo, Galle, and Kalutara are the hardest hit.

These funds allocated through the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund  of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will see scaling up of activities such as

  • Dengue vector breeding site clean-up campaigns
  • Support proper solid waste disposal in schools
  • Volunteers support for dengue case management at three high priority hospitals in three districts
  • Top-up of emergency sanitation and water supply facilities at three high priority hospitals in each of the targeted three districts

“Dengue is endemic here, but one reason for the dramatic rise in cases is that the virus currently spreading has evolved and people lack the immunity to fight off the new strain,” says Dr Novil Wijesekara of the Health Department at the Sri Lanka Red Cross.

The Sri Lanka Red Cross has been engaging in several activities since this disease spiked soon after floods in May of this year. Cleaning, awareness and flogging campaigns conducted at communities identified as risky towards dengue.

All these activities were on par with the National Programme for the Government of Sri Lanka carried out by the National Dengue Control Unit.

In Yatiyana GN Division in Gampaha volunteers of the branch conducted a door to door campaign, mainly to identify dengue breeding sites and to raise awareness on how people can keep their environment continuously clean. These activities carried out with the support from the District Medical Officer of Health’s Office and officials from the village health committees.

Our volunteers are also assisting in several hospitals by supporting the medical staff who have been overwelmed by the huge number of dengue patients that gets admitted on a daily basis.