JEDDAH: A Makkah Health Affairs official has said there are 26 significant mosquito breeding ground sites in Jeddah and that greater efforts are required to eradicate them, particularly in the face of 2,219 recorded cases of Dengue fever.
“The Ministry of Health has reports confirming those figures,” the official said. “The ministry promotes public awareness and provides medical attention, while the Mayor’s Office is working hard to tackle the problem.”
Local authorities are frequently bombarded with complaints from the Jeddah public.
Residents of Al-Haramain District have expressed their concern over an increase in mosquitoes due to stagnant areas of water left by last week’s rains.
“The number of mosquitoes is on they rise,” one local said. “We have complained to the mayoralty and the National Water Company.”
Pupils from a school in Al-Ajwad also registered a formal complaint with the mayoralty over large areas of stagnant water in front of the premises and demanded the water be pumped away.
Ali Al-Qahtani, Deputy Mayor for Planning, said a committee with representatives from the mayoralty and the ministries of Health and Agriculture takes swift action over mosquito breeding grounds and other sources of Dengue fever.
“Al-Haramain is one of the districts earmarked for rapid action and radical solutions,” he said. “We want to put an end to residents’ frustration by working with other authorities in the committee.”
Determining the sites of mosquito breeding grounds, he said, helps considerably to tackle the issue, noting that Dengue-bearing mosquitoes “breed in cold environments, away from sunlight”.
Only two weeks ago another Ali Al-Qahtani at the Jeddah Mayor’s Office, this time Deputy Mayor for Services, urged greater cooperation from the public, the National Water Company and other bodies to combat dengue fever, saying that the mayoralty also wants to “involve the private sector in the battle across the city”.
“Dengue fever is difficult to tackle without the full cooperation of everyone involved, and that begins with the public – an essential partner - and further includes government departments, the mayoralty, and the ministries of Agriculture and Health,” he said.
He described Jeddah as “located on a lake of water, with not enough sewage or drainage works to cope” and added that the public was “not cooperating with field teams”.
“We need better and more reliable cooperation from the public, and greater understanding from them for the work being done by field teams sent out to combat dengue fever, so that they are permitted entrance into people’s homes to spray. People also need to stop storing water for long periods of time in their houses, and repair leaks from air-conditioning units that provide fertile breeding grounds for mosquitoes,” he said.
– Okaz/Saudi Gazette