Using fish to fight dengue

Islamabad, Sep 19 : The government of Pakistan's Punjab province hopes to combat the menace of dengue by releasing fish in water bodies where dengue mosquitoes breed.

The provincial government has asked the local administration of Rawalpindi to use fish from a hatchery in the Rawal Dam near the garrison city to eliminate the larvae of dengue mosquitoes, the Dawn reported Thursday.

Accordingly, the agriculture and health departments of the local administration have released two species of fish in ponds and water bodies so that these can eat up the larvae of the dengue mosquitoes.

"The fishes available with the agriculture department are an effective remedy to eliminate the mosquitoes," the report quoted Shahid Sajjad Asghar, an official in the agriculture department, as saying.

"These will feed on the larvae and destroy the breeding grounds of the mosquitoes."

As many as 23 dengue cases have been reported from the three government hospitals in Rawalpindi while data from private hospitals is yet to be made available.

According to Asghar, the health department has pointed out various sites where the agriculture department could release the fishes after making water conditions suitable for their breeding.

This will also eliminate the need to spray anti-dengue mosquito chemicals in the water bodies.

Fishes have been released in fountains at the Nawaz Sharif Park in the city and some ponds in the villages, the report said.

According to district health officer Ansar Ishaq, health officials found dengue mosquitoes at the Rawal Town Municipal Administration offices, an under construction hospital and several areas of the city.

Meanwhile, municipal and environment authorities have sealed four tyre dealer shops and second-hand waste material shops.

--IANS (Posted on 19-09-2013)

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