See More on Facebook

Analysis, Environment

Concerns grow over dengue spread, but government is too slow to act

State agencies are just gearing up for meetings to chart out strategies to combat the disease.


Written by

Updated: August 27, 2019

The Ministry of Health and Population on Sunday discussed with stakeholders ways to deal with the dengue spread in Kathmandu Valley and other parts of the country. The meeting was held almost two weeks after dengue cases were detected and at least one person died of the disease in Sunsari district.

Bibek Kumar Lal, director at the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division of the ministry, told the Post that the meeting discussed the risk of spread of the disease and possible consequences.

“The next meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, which will be chaired by Health Minister Upendra Yadav,” Lal said. “We have decided to invite mayors and deputy mayors of all the local units in the Valley as well as the representatives of agencies concerned to discuss the roles they can play to mitigate the risk of dengue in their areas.”

The Health Ministry will also provide training and orientation to health workers on ways to deal with the deadly disease.

There are already concerns over the government’s delayed response to control dengue outbreaks in many parts of the country. Over 3,000 people have been infected with the dengue virus in Dharan Sub-metropolitan City in Sunsari alone. Authorities have failed to contain the spread of the disease even after three months.

In Kathmandu Valley, the World Health Organization recently warned of a possible dengue outbreak after finding dengue-causing mosquitoes, their eggs and larvae in many areas.

Dengue outbreak usually happens in the post-monsoon season. But this time the outbreak occurred in May due to excessive pre-monsoon rain.
In the past, the Ministry of Health used to train health workers before the onset of the monsoon season and supply medicines and reagents to health facilities to deal with the possible dengue outbreak. Health workers were put on alert and the security agencies were asked to remain in standby for blood donation and to conduct “search and destroy” drive to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds. Similarly, dengue awareness drives were run with the help of female community health volunteers, teachers, mothers’ groups, local clubs and non-governmental agencies.
But with the implementation of federalism, coordination among the concerned health agencies has been disrupted.

“Yes we are late and we are still struggling to make all concerned agencies work in tandem,” said Lal. “We are still in a dilemma over the responsibilities of various agencies.”

Geeta Acharya, an official at the Provincial Health Office in Kathmandu, said Sunday’s meeting also discussed seeking help from the security agencies to run search and destroy campaign.

The division confirmed one dengue-related death in Sunsari district on Sunday. Two other deaths have been reported in Doti and Chitwan, but the causes are yet to be ascertained, officials at the division said.

“We have sought detailed reports of those who died in Doti and Chtiwan,” said Uttam Raj Pyakurel, a vector control inspector at the division.
According to the division, dozens of people in Kathmandu Valley have been infected with dengue virus in recent weeks.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease, which is transmitted by the female Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. The same vector also transmits chikungunya, yellow fever, and Zika virus, according to the World Health Organization.

Dengue-transmitting mosquitoes breed in clean water and bite people in daylight.

Mild to high fever, severe muscle pain, rashes, severe headache, and pain in eyes are some of the symptoms of dengue.
The UN health agency says there is no specific treatment for severe dengue, but early detection and access to proper medical care can lower the fatality rate.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Kathmandu Post
About the Author: The Kathmandu Post was Nepal’s first privately owned English broadsheet daily and is currently the country's leading English-language newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Analysis, Environment

Pakistan and India face common threats, climate change is the biggest one

Collective action may just be what is needed to secure the lives and livelihoods of future generations. Climate change is no longer limited to books or scientific papers; it is a reality knocking on our doors. Longer, sweltering summers bringing in record-breaking heat to South Asia are just one example. The harshest of conditions have yet to come, and the entire region is woefully unprepared to meet the challenges. While they may seem isolated, increasing instances of extreme weather are harbingers of a major climate shift for South Asia. Unlike transnational challenges like security and trade, climate change cannot be deterred by conventional methods or unilateral initiatives. Instead, synchronised common action is the viable way forward for sustainable progress to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Let’s look at some of the common environmental challenges facing Pakistan


By Dawn
September 17, 2019

Analysis, Environment

South Korea and Japan have more in common than they think

Republished with permission for Asia News Network members by The Brookings Institution. With South Korea’s decision to scrap the 2016 military intelligence sharing agreement with Japan, the two sides have dramatically aggravated their fraught relationship. Bilateral ties had never been great, but in the past several weeks, a trade spat has snowballed into a confrontation that apparently has yet to reach rock bottom. Last month, Tokyo decided to remove South Korea from its list of favored trading partners, which includes the United States, Germany, France, and two dozen other countries, placing export curbs on industrial and high-tech p


By Asia News Network
September 16, 2019

Analysis, Environment

Can Global Exchanges work?

Andrew Sheng for Asia News Network. HKEx’s (0388.HK) audacious $32 billion bid for London Stock Exchange Group (LSE.L) raised quite a few eyebrows on 9/11.   Three immediate questions were raised by the bid.   First, does the bid make sense for shareholders on a commercial basis?  Second, what are the strategic considerations for Hong Kong and global financial markets?  Third, what are the regulatory and geopolitical hurdles? My own policy is never to make any predictions on the prices or viability of any commercial deal but to let facts speak for themselves.   At present prices, HKEx is the third largest listed exchange in the world with a market cap of $40 billion, larger than the LSE ($31 billion) but smaller than the CME Group ($77 billion) and the Intercontinental Exchange Inc (ICE, $53 billion).   The fact that the LSE share price rose slightly after the bid announcement but remained lower th


By Asia News Network
September 16, 2019

Analysis, Environment

The foreigner who stoked political chaos in Malaysia

For Asia News Network Editor’s Circle by Chong Lip Teck of Sin Chew Daily. Controversial Indian Muslim preacher Zakir Naik is on the wanted list in India due to his extreme religious remarks and alleged involvement in money laundering. Many Muslim countries have denied him entry. But in Malaysia, he is well received by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government. Within the coalition, however, there is a split because of him. The ground sentiment is also divided into two, on  racial and religious lines. One side has defended him while the other side asked for his repatriation. As a Muslim preacher, Zakir Naik is popular in the Muslim community. He has his charm. While promoting Islam, he would  downgrade other religions, especially the Hindus and Christians. But, as a guest in Malaysia, he has crossed the red line. If he is merely promoting Islam, no one is against him. But he insults other religions in his sp


By ANN Members
September 16, 2019

Analysis, Environment

Hong Kong tourism arrivals plunge 40 per cent, most since Sars crisis

By Bloomberg as it appears in the Straits Times. The ongoing protests in Hong Kong, now in their 15th week, have delivered a blow to the city’s tourism industry not seen since the 2003 Sars epidemic. Tourist arrivals in the city declined almost 40 per cent in August from a year earlier, Financial Secretary Paul Chan wrote in a blog post on Sunday. That’s the biggest year-on-year decrease in visitor numbers since May 2003, when arrivals sank almost 70 per cent in the midst of the disease outbreak that ultimately claimed hundreds of lives in the city, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from the Hong Kong Tourism Board. “Social issues in the past few months, especially the continued violent clashes and blockading of


By The Straits Times
September 10, 2019

Analysis, Environment

Thailand fares badly in business digitalisation: UNCTAD

Singapore and South Korea tops the charts. Singapore and South Korea top the charts when it comes to companies receiving orders online, the Digital Economy Report 2019 released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) shows. According to the report launched a few days ago, more than 60 per cent of small firms and close to 80 per cent of large firms in Singapore received orders over the internet last year.     Thailand, however, is close to the bottom of the chart, with less than 10 per cent of small firms and only about 20 per cent of large firms receiving online orders in the same year. Even Indonesia did better in comparison. The report suggests that in most developing countries, there is con


By The Nation (Thailand)
September 6, 2019