Uzan Bazar records highest incidences of Dengue
Concentrated Area: Uzan Bazar (11A)
Ward No: 11
Population of the Ward: 11,940
Voter Population: 9,700
Population of Uzan Bazar: 6,800
Ward Councillor: Dipa Hazarika
In Ward Watch this week, G Plus checks out the possible reasons behind the large number of dengue cases that have hit the city’s oldest residential area
Uzan Bazar has the highest prevalence of dengue in the city. The locality has recorded at least 243 out of a total of 3,857 cases recorded in the Kamrup (Metro) district this year.
The National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) had identified eight wards including Uzan Bazar in Ward No 11, in the Gauhati East legislative assembly constituency as a high endemic zone for dengue.
“The Uzan Bazar area (11A) has the highest concentration of dengue incidences with 243 cases while, Bamunimaidam, Noonmati, Geeta Nagar and Narengi follows with over 100 cases respectively. However, there has not been any deaths due to the disease,” Nanda Chakraborty, District Medical Officer of NVBDCP, the vector-borne disease monitoring department under Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP), of National Health Mission (NHM), told G Plus.
Kamrup Metro has the highest prevalence of the mosquito-borne disease last year as well as this year. It had crossed the 4000 cases mark last year.
Besides, Wards 23, 27, 03, 24, 16, 18 and 10 that includes localities like Bamunimaidam, Jyoti Nagar, Lalmati, Noonmati, Happy Villa, Jorpukhuri, Rest Camp Colony, Geeta Nagar, Narengi, Ulubari, part of Lachit Nagar, Panbazar, and parts of Fancy Bazaar, are within the endemic zone.
Uzan Bazar, is one of the oldest residential localities of the city. It has prominent establishments such as Gauhati High Court, Deputy Commissioner’s residence and Brahmaputra State Guest House which is also the Chief Minister’s official residence.
The area also has one of the major fish markets in the city, which the NVBDCP believes is a primary cause for the disease.
Fish market a probable reason for high dengue prevalence
Stagnant water in the fish market is a breeding ground for the mosquito responsible for the spread of dengue.
The yellow fever mosquito (Aedes Aegypti), that mainly spreads dengue fever along with Chikungunya, Zika fever, Mayaro and yellow fever breeds in stagnant water. But unlike the anopheles (malaria-carrying mosquito), the mosquito carrying the dengue virus sucks blood during the day.
“We suspect that the stagnant water that is left behind every day by the fish sellers in the fish market is the reason for the prevalence of this disease in this area. Dengue mosquitoes breed in such fresh water,” said Chakraborty adding, "Also, along the sandbars of the Brahmaputra and Uzan Bazar, there are several pockets where water drains down from the fish market and gets stagnant. We found those areas breeding with dengue mosquitoes,”
Locals said that the dengue prevalence is highest on the other side of the market which are residential areas.
“Barring only three houses in my neighbourhood, at least one member of every house has been detected with the disease. Similar is the scenario in almost all the houses on this stretch. The fish market remains swarming with mosquitoes at night," Jagadish Kalita, a senior resident at Uzan Bazar said.
It may be mentioned that the Sati Radhika Santi Udyan, an amusement park, lies right above the market.
“Even at the day time, mosquitoes can be seen in the bushes inside the park. After the rise in dengue numbers in the city, very few people turn up here during the dry season when it is said the dengue threat is at its peak,” Parimal Barman, a security guard in the park said.
“The problem with the disease is that it is untreatable. We can only treat the symptoms, but not the disease. It appears to be like a normal flu in the early stages, but if treated in the early stage, it is not a threat to life,” Dr Arun Mahanta, a resident of Lamb Road said.
Councillor bids for proper drainage
More than the anti-dengue measures, the area needs a better drainage for the Uzan Bazar market to fight the disease, Councillor Dipa Hazarika said.
“Fogging only covers a particular area, for a certain period of time. Several cases of dengue were also reported from places which were fumigated. We need a proper drainage and an awareness drive among the citizens to battle the disease,” Hazarika, who represents the Congress in the council, said.
“If the market water gets channelized directly into the Brahmaputra and the water coming down from the hills flow through shut drains, we can bring down the number of people getting infected with dengue,” Hazarika added. She said that she had made the same request several times in the council meeting but was paid no heed.
Meanwhile, residents complained about lack of fogging. “We paid Rs 200 from each household and got our area fumigated. This actually should have been done by the GMC,” Prasanta Baruah, a resident of Uzan Bazar said.