The health ministry has decided to open help desks in all public hospitals across Bangladesh in a bid to tackle chikungunya cases.
Director General of Directorate General of Health Service (DGHS) Abul Kalam Azad on Monday said the decision was taken following the directive of Health Minister Mohammed Nasim.
He said initiatives would also be taken to set up joint pain clinics for chikungunya patients at all hospitals. These clinics would give necessary information and recommendations regarding physiotherapy or medicines.
Azad passed on to the minister’s directives on the issue to the directors, divisional directors and civil surgeons of all government hospitals around the country via a video conference at the DGHS.
Earlier, the DGHS had opened ‘Public Health Emergency Operation Centre’ to observe the chikungunya situation.
A hotline for the people seeking information regarding the disease is also open 24/7. The phone numbers are – 01937-110011 and 01937-000011.
The DGHS has also urged all to visit the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) website – www.iedcr.gov.bd – to learn in details about the disease and stay vigilant.
The Aedes Aegypti mosquito-borne disease first struck different areas of the country at the beginning of the ongoing rainy season.
Both dengue and chikungunya show some common symptoms such as fever and pain. But with chikungunya, the joint pain is much severe as it involves all the bone joints in the body. Sometimes rashes can appear in the body, doctors say.
Treatment mainly focuses on relieving the symptoms. Paracetamol is the drug of choice for reducing both fever and pain. So there is no need to wait for testing, experts say.
General awareness is important as the Aedes mosquito usually breeds in a small collection of clean water in and around houses, such as inside a flower vase.
Intermittent rains cause a proliferation of the breeding when water accumulates in different containers around homes.
The IEDCR advises removal of all open containers with stagnant water in and around the houses on a regular basis – flower plates and pots, used tyres, tree holes and rock pools.