Govt to rush through amended legislation to tackle mosquito breeding


By Dilanthi Jayamanne

Deputy Director General Public Health Services (DDG PHS) Dr Sarath Amunugama yesterday said the amended draft copy of the ‘Prevention of mosquito breeding Act No. 11 of 2007’ had been sent to the legal draftsman for whetting and would be submitted for cabinet approval within the next few weeks.

Addressing a media seminar at the National Dengue Control Unit (NDCU), Dr Amunugama said the Health Ministry hoped to implement the amended act within three months. The Ministry saw the need to amend certain sections of the act inclusive of that which was relevant to the required legal action which could be taken against those who violated the act. The possibilities of levying spot fines and the increase of fines from Rs. 5000 to Rs. 25,000 had all been looked into, he said.

Dr Amunugama said however that unfortunately people viewed the fine as something which the health Ministry levied to increase the government revenue. Where as it was used only as a deterrent to make sure that people at least cleaned their premises.

Consultant Epidemiologist Dr Hasitha A. Tissera said that teams from the Mosquito Control programme had inspected over 200,000 domestic environments. It was evident that there was more awareness amongst the public on what needed to be done. However there were issues regarding government institutions public and private, construction sites and schools and religious places.

There was a seven percent increase of breeding sites in schools. Seventy per cent of religious places, 65 per cent of government institutions and 60 per cent of schools and 58 per cent of construction sites were found to be breeding mosquitoes, he said.

The Consultant Epidemiologist said that all institutions should take steps to inspect their own premises and clean them of all possible mosquito breeding sites today (24). Those premises would be inspected by the MOH officers from tomorrow (25) to Friday (27).

The number of dengue cases recorded during the first three weeks of this year had been 3500, while last year in the same period there had been a little over 3000. He said that last year nine dengue deaths had been recorded during the same period while this year the number increased to 11, he said.

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