UAE destroys over 400 mosquito site in anti-dengue campaign

Asma Ahmed - | UAE

The UAE health authorities have successfully eradicated 409 mosquito breeding sites identified as potential sources of dengue fever, according to a senior government official.

GPS Technology and Strategic Interventions

This significant achievement was announced during a Federal National Council (FNC) session, highlighting the country's proactive measures to combat the disease.

In response to the heaviest rainfall on record, which created numerous stagnant water ponds ideal for mosquito breeding, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) utilized advanced GPS technology to identify and eliminate mosquito breeding sites across the nation. This technology enabled precise mapping and targeted eradication efforts, ensuring a comprehensive approach to mosquito control.

To further bolster the anti-dengue campaign, Mohap established an insect laboratory dedicated to evaluating mosquito samples and testing the effectiveness of various pesticides. This laboratory plays a crucial role in understanding mosquito behavior and improving pesticide application strategies, ensuring the efficacy of eradication efforts.

Nine specialized teams from Emirates Health Services were dispatched across the northern emirates to support the nationwide anti-dengue drive. These teams conducted extensive fieldwork, identifying breeding sites and implementing control measures to curb the mosquito population.

In collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, Mohap conducted over 1,200 mosquito surveys and analyzed 309 DNA samples. This partnership aimed to enhance the understanding of mosquito distribution and genetic variations, contributing to more effective control strategies.

Public awareness and education campaigns

Health education and community awareness campaigns were launched to inform the public about effective mosquito prevention practices. These campaigns, conducted in both Arabic and English, utilized various visual tools to reach a wide audience. Residents were educated on the importance of eliminating standing water, using mosquito repellents, and wearing protective clothing to minimize mosquito exposure.

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) urged residents to report mosquito sightings and breeding sites. Othaibah Saeed Al Qaydi, director of the Municipal Affairs Department at the ministry, highlighted the use of GIS mapping, sensors, predictive modeling, and big data analytics to monitor and curb mosquito proliferation. Residents were also advised to install anti-mosquito screens and nets to further reduce mosquito exposure.

Efforts to improve healthcare workers' skills and dengue surveillance were intensified. Training programs focused on diagnosing dengue without a travel history and ensuring prompt electronic case reporting. Epidemiological teams were tasked with investigating reported cases, managing contacts, and identifying additional cases to prevent outbreaks.

Health authorities coordinated with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and municipal bodies for entomological investigations. Rapid response teams were deployed to assess and combat mosquito populations near patients' residences or workplaces, ensuring swift action to contain potential outbreaks.

Diagnosis and treatment protocols for dengue fever in the UAE adhere to the latest global standards. Health authorities provide necessary diagnostic services and lab tests within 24-48 hours, ensuring timely and effective treatment. All 134 Emirates Health Services facilities are equipped to manage dengue fever patients, providing comprehensive care and support.

The UAE's multi-faceted approach to combating dengue fever, involving advanced technology, public education, and inter-agency coordination, has proven effective in controlling mosquito populations and preventing the spread of the disease. These efforts underscore the country's commitment to public health and proactive disease management.

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Asma Ahmed
Asma Ahmed
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