Types of Environmental Management to Control Dengue

art-223-01-19062020Environmental management is essential in stemming the spread of dengue fever

One of the ways to mitigate the spread of dengue fever is through environmental management. It is designed to prevent or minimise vector propagation and human-vector contact by eradicating, changing, removing or recycling containers or areas that provide larval habitats.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines dengue control through environmental management in three forms: environmental modification, environmental manipulation, and changes to human habitation or behaviour.

Environmental modification focuses on long-term physical transformations in order to reduce vector larval habitats. One example is the installation of a reliable piped water supply to communities, including household connections.

Environmental manipulation refers to temporary changes to vector habitats. This usually involves proper management of “essential” containers, which includes frequent emptying and cleaning by:

  • Scrubbing of water-storage vessels, flower vases and desert room coolers
  • Cleaning of gutters
  • Sheltering stored tyres from rainfall
  • Recycling or proper disposal of discarded containers and tyres, and
  • Management of plants close to homes that collect water in the leaf axils.

Changes to human habitation or behaviour are actions taken to minimise human-vector contact. For instance, installing mosquito screening on windows, doors and other entry points, and using mosquito nets while sleeping.

The WHO notes that constant improvements in, and maintenance of, urban infrastructure and basic services are vital in the reduction of available larval habitats because large Aedes aegypti mosquito populations are often associated with poor water supply, and inadequate sanitation and waste disposal services.


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