World health day Today
World Health Assembly was held first time in the year 1948 in Geneva by the WHO where it was decided to celebrate the World Health Day annually on 7th of April. And it was first celebrated worldwide in the year 1950 as the World Health Day.
Most of us would have suffered at least one type of the many vector-borne diseases in our lifetime. Unfortunately, even though scientists have developed nuclear bombs that can wipe off a whole city in no time, they are still struggling to tackle the menace that small insects can cause.India is also among the countries worst-hit by vector-borne diseases.
Even the World Health Organisation (WHO) acknowledges the gravity of the situation by focusing on vector-borne diseases this World Health Day with the theme, 'Small bite, big threat'. Doctors believe the responsibility of fighting this menace falls more on the general populace rather than the government.
Vectors are organisms that transmit pathogens and parasites from one infected person (or animal) to another.These diseases are commonly found in tropical and subtropical regions and places where access to safe drinking-water and sanitation systems is problematic. Many of them are preventable.
Vector-borne diseases account for 17% of the estimated global burden of all infectious diseases and cause more than one million deaths annually.The South-east Asia region accounts for 26% of what are called neglected tropical diseases.
Malaria, the most deadly vector-borne disease, causes more than 600,000 deaths every year globally, most of them children under 5 years of age.The world's fastest growing vector-borne disease is dengue, with a 30-fold increase in incidence over the last 50 years.
Disease causing vectors: Mosquitoes, flies, ticks, bugs and freshwater snails can spread diseases that cause serious illness and even death.
Diseases: Malaria, dengue, leishmaniasis (kala-azar) and yellow fever.
At risk: More than 50% of world population, mostly the poorest people. Increased travel, trade and migration make even more people vulnerable.
- Get vaccinated
- Install window screens that help prevent entry of mosquitoes and bugs in house
- Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and trousers when outdoors and at places where there are more bugs
- Use insect repellents
- Sleep under a bed net treated with insecticide
- Get rid of stagnant water from places like flower pots where mosquitoes breed
- Water filled in tanks of coolers should be sprinkled with kerosene
- If there are open vents in the pipeline, tie a cloth to close its mouth
- Use mosquito coils, mats or sprays if there are many mosquitoes in the locality
While you may use mosquito repellants that have chemicals, it is advisable that you opt for healthier alternatives. These repellants can cause allergic reactions and are usually harmful. You could instead use healthier alternatives like tulsi, neem oil, eucalyptus and lemon oil, mint, etc.
It is important that you don’t just make an effort to keep your house clean. Keeping your environment clean is important too, as a drain, pothole or open space where water can get stagnated can breed mosquitoes.
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