Sale of mosquito nets up on rise in dengue cases

Traders taking advantage of the situation have increased prices exorbitantly

Dua Abbas September 07, 2022


As the metropolitan city experiences a sharp rise in mosquito-borne diseases in the aftermath of the recent monsoon rains, the demand for mosquito nets has also increased manifolds as people want to protect themselves from the buzzing insects.

The sudden increase in the demand has created a shortage of mosquito nets in the city. Mosquito nets have disappeared from the market while those traders who still have them in stocks are charging exorbitant prices, shows a survey of the market conducted by The Express Tribune.

Waterborne and mosquito borne diseases have broken out in Sindh which has been devastated by unusual rains and floods. Karachi has particularly seen an unusual increase in the number of malaria and dengue patients.

Two major hospitals run by the Sindh Health Department receive hundreds of patients daily with complaints of headache, high fever, diarrhea, joint and muscle pain - all tell-tale symptoms of malaria and dengue. The dengue and malaria wards at these hospitals, which remained deserted for several months, are now filled to capacity.

The breakdown of sewerage and drainage systems resulted in the city becoming a breeding ground for mosquitos, according to health experts. A sharp increase in cases of dengue and malaria has panicked people who have decided to make arrangements for themselves and their families as the government has failed to fumigate the city.

They have started buying mosquitos repellents and mosquito nets which has resulted in an increase in the demand of these items. Roadside stalls have popped up in middle-class and poor neighbourhoods of the city including Landi Kotal, Water Pump, and People's Secretariat Chowrangi.

Citizens say that the use of mosquito nets has become a necessity as swarm of buzzing disease-carriers are making life miserable for them. This also is a clear proof that the authorities are indifferent towards the plight of the citizens as they have yet to fumigate the city.

"The buzzing of mosquitos has become and frightening sound. We want to save our children from malaria and dengue fever," one resident told The Express Tribune. This has resulted in a huge increase in demand. Sellers of mosquito nets are doing roaring business.

According to the Sindh Health Department data, dengue cases are constantly on the rise in the province. As many as 2,641 cases have been reported in Karachi so far this year. In the first week of September so far, 434 cases have been reported. In all, 3,013 dengue cases have been reported across the province so far this year.

Dr. Waris Jakharani of Dr. Ruth KM Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi advised citizens to take precautionary measures to avoid all these diseases. He has recommended spraying on mosquito-breeding grounds. He has also advised citizens to not allow water to accumulate in their houses and neighborhoods because dengue-carrying mosquito breeds in clean water while the malaria-causing mosquito breeds in polluted water.

According to him, use of mosquito nets and mosquito repellents can also be helpful in keeping the buzzing insects at bay. He advised people to consult a certified medical practitioner as soon as symptoms of dengue or malaria appear. He advised against home remedies and instead advised people to only take medicines prescribed by a doctor.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2022.


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