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Chikungunya-hit Villages to Get Funds to Fight Mosquitoes

New Delhi, Health Minister A. Ramadoss Thursday said that all villages affected by chikungunya fever would get Rs.10,000 to prevent mosquito breeding and to spread awareness among people even as 17,000 suspected cases of the viral have been reported so far this year.

'We have asked the nine chikungunya-affected states to set up village surveillance committees. Under the National Rural Health Mission, we will provide Rs.10,000 each to these committees to prevent the spread of this vector borne disease,' Ramadoss told reporters.

'The committee will comprise of a village head, Anganwadi members and some female members. Money will be put in a joint account of these people. They will visit homes in the village to create awareness about the disease and how to prevent it. The main focus is to stop the mosquito breeding,' the minister added.

Till June 18, India has reported 17,000 suspected cases of chikungunya, of which 414 cases have been confirmed. Of the 17,000 cases spread across nine states, Kerala alone has reported around 12,000 cases.

India had last year reported 1.4 million cases spread over 16 states. There were 2001 confirmed cases in the entire year.

'Though the chikungunya situation was much more alarming last year, we are taking the increasing number of such cases this year very seriously. If we don't take immediate measures the situation will be grim during monsoon and post-monsoon,' he said.

The minister was addressing a meeting of the health ministers of the chikungunya-affected states and reviewing preparations to meet the challenge.

Health ministers and health secretaries of nine states including Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat participated in the meeting.

They were directed to set up village surveillance committees as soon as possible to keep a tab on sanitation and cleanliness in villages.

'We discussed the financial part, current status, required infrastructure. We have allocated Rs.200 million to these states and will provide more to a few southern states where the situation is bad,' he said after the meeting.

Chikungunya is caused by a virus spread by the bite of Ades Egyptis mosquito that breeds in stagnant water.


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