IN LINE with its Digital India campaign, the Union government Monday launched a mobile application to curb the rising cases of dengue, a vector-borne disease which claimed over six lives with to 6,000 cases of suspected infection in the city last year.
And of course, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officers are a happy lot.
The application – India Fights Dengue – which is now available on android phones will help a patient know whether he needs to go further tests based on the symptoms and provide precautionary measures.
A list of nearby hospitals and blood banks will also be made available on the app, based on the user’s location. Among the most interesting features of the app, launched to mark National Dengue Day on May 16, is the ‘Munna bhai’ style video on dengue prevention. Another interactive feature is a pictorial display that coaches one using the app how to remove mosquito breeding sites in the locality.
A game, Zap-a-quito, also engages players in killing mosquitoes. Welcoming the move of creating such an app, civic Insecticide Officer Rajan Naringrekar said about 70 per cent cases of breeding sites of Aedes Aegypti mosquito are found in residential areas, where fresh water stagnation is common.
While malaria is spread through mosquitoes multiplying in mostly public spaces, dengue is spread by mosquitoes growing in fish tank, potted plants, refrigerator tray and tanks.
The city has till April this year recorded 87 cases of dengue, though no deaths have been reported so far by the BMC.
“Such tools work really well with people. It has simple messages that can be communicated easily to public at large. Innovative ideas always catch attention,” said Dr Minni Khetarpal, Head, Civic Epidemology, BMC.