They are in war against dengue25th September 2019
DBCs identify spots where mosquitoes breed and take up control measures
For M. Kaleeswari, a domestic breeding checker (DBC) of Madurai Corporation, work starts as early as 7 a.m. While the city shakes off its sleep, she and her team members start visiting houses in the area earmarked for that day to identify spots where dengue-spreading Aedes aegypti mosquito breeds and take up control measures.
“When we visit houses and interact with the inmates, I consider them as my family members and want to ensure that no one is affected by dengue,” says Ms. Kaleeswari, who has been working for the past eight years.
Like her, hundreds of contract DBCs of the Corporation take up mosquito control measures to prevent the spread of dengue ahead of northeast monsoon. Wearing a bright orange vest, they go door to door with abate solution and bleaching powder to fight the deadly mosquitoes. Since the workers take care of an area, the residents are familiar with them, says G. Parvathy, a worker from Bethaniapuram. “Only if we get familiar and become close to a family will it allow us inside the house,” she says.
These workers work irrespective of weather conditions. “Some people never allow us inside their houses. When we visit the houses early in the morning, residents send us away citing that they are busy with household chores,” says J. Pandiselvi, a worker.
“Only after we show them the mosquito larvae breeding in water tanks and behind refrigerators will they let us inside,” she says.
With the additional deployment of 500 DBCs by the Corporation from Monday, the total strength has increased to 1,000. While the workers are expected to cover the residences in a ward in a week, it usually takes around two weeks, say workers. “With additional workers, we can cover a ward within a week and it will help in reducing our workload,” says Ms. Kaleeswari.
However, in residences where all the family members work, they complain that the DBCs do not pay a visit before they leave home. “How will the dengue prevention measure be complete if they do not inspect every house?,” asks G. Parthiban, a resident of Doak Nagar.
Nevertheless, the workers say that it is practically tough to visit all houses before people start to work. “We mark those houses which are locked and the Sanitary Inspector and Swachh Police are required to inspect them in the evening,” says Ms. Kaleeswari.