With nearly 60% of Karnataka’s total dengue cases this year being reported in Bengaluru city (BBMP limits), the State Health Department and BBMP have come out with a mobile application for effective monitoring of the vector-borne disease. This app along with an Artificial Intelligence-based model that can provide dengue predictive analysis will be launched in the city on Friday (September 8), said Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao.
The Minister, who along with top health officials reviewed the dengue situation in Bengaluru, said the AI-based model that will provide dengue predictive analysis four weeks in advance has been developed by experts from IISc’s AI and Robotics Technology (ART) Park.
“We can use this model to predict other diseases in future. As of now, it will be used to predict dengue. The mobile app will help monitor preventive measures, including spraying and fogging and door-to-door IEC activities,” the Minister said., asserting that situation is not alarming..
“The mobile application will help get an accurate ground-level picture of prevention activities and incidence. The field staff will update the status of prevention activities and the incidence in their jurisdiction on the mobile app that will also be displayed on a dashboard in the head office. This will ensure that any areas of concern are quickly attended to,” Mr. Gundu Rao said.
Rise in cases
From 905 cases on July 12, Bengaluru’s dengue tally touched 4,703 as of September 7. The spurt has been recorded from July onwards. While 1,649 cases were recorded in July, 1,589 were reported in August. In September, 416 cases have been reported so far, the Minister said.
“I have asked the BBMP officials to intensify preventive measures. Field staff will ensure awareness creation on prevention, regular door-to-door surveillance to check larvae breeding in open water storage containers apart from fogging and spraying to prevent mosquito breeding,” he said.
The Minister said dengue testing will be increased. “The BBMP has six sentinel laboratories for dengue testing. All samples collected in Namma Clinics, Primary Health Centres (PHCs), and other government health facilities should be transported to these labs for testing. The civic body will need more funds for a hub and spoke model, which will be provided under National Health Mission (NHM) grants,” he said.
To tackle the paucity of ANMs and male health workers in the BBMP, a decision has been taken to enhance salaries for these posts from the existing ₹12,000 to ₹18,000 per the Minimum Wages Act. The Health Department will bear the additional amount required for this, the Minister said.
He said there is a shortage of 179 ANMs and 108 male health workers in the BBMP. “Due to the low salaries there are not many takers for these posts. We have permitted the BBMP to enhance their salaries and we will bear the additional expenses,” he said.