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Dengue And Poverty According to at least one GP in Sri Lanka, the likelihood of getting dengue fever are far higher if you are underprivileged than if you even have some money. While it is a fact that mosquitoes breed in stagnant water and that vessels containing stagnant water are as common in a rich man's garden as a poorer one's, it is still more likely that the poor man and his family will get dengue fever. Dengue fever is widespread in Sri Lanka and has been since 1990, although there were sporadic outbreaks before then, particularly between 1965 and 1968. Nowadays the situation is so bad that at some times during the year, most hospital beds are taken up by sufferers of dengue requiring valuable transfusions of blood. In fact, the state of affairs has worsened to the extent where the authorities have called in world experts on mosquitoes from Thailand for help in getting rid of dengue and treating those suffering from it. This exercise in itself is not cheap, but it is expected to save money in the long run. The difficulty is that Sri Lanka does not have a large budget to draw on. In fact, mosquito populations are on the increase worldwide with numerous areas reporting three times as many mosquitoes in 2011 as in 2010. Rich countries are dealing with this by spraying and poisoning. Spraying the air and vegetation and poisoning pools with larvacide. Poor countries are a lot less likely to use these alternatives, rather, they fine the poor if stagnant water is found on their property. However, it is not only the stagnant pools in old tyres and half coconut shells that are to blame. The local authorities are less likely to spend money fixing drains in slum sites, so standing water below ground in blocked drains becomes an ideal breeding ground for Aedes and other mosquitoes that carry contagious or parasitic diseases. In this way, the poor are far more vulnerable than the rich but through no fault of their own. In some cases, more and more often, some people say, corrupt government officials are fining firms that use a lot of water (such as car washes) for not disposing of the used water properly. Sometimes, a council authority is even charging the businesses for drainage that is entirely inadequate and then fining them. Sometimes the drainage simply does not exist. Another source of mosquito bites is the myriad of small restaurants offering food for people who do not have the means to cook at home because they have no running water and no cooking equipment. This is a common situation and many Westerners would be surprised to learn that numerous poor individuals in the Third World eat out everyday, simply because they do not have the facilities to cook for themselves. Clearing away things in the backyard that hold water is not an option for the poorest people of the world, because they simply do not have gardens,. Often they do not even have homes as we know them and they certainly do not leave old tyres and buckets lying about to collect water - what is not absolutely vital to sustain life is sold for recycling because they cannot afford the luxury of having waste lying around.


Owen Jones, the writer of this article writes on several subjects, but is currently concerned with finding natural remedies for mosquito bites. If you want to know more, please go to our website at Getting Rid of Mosquito Bites.


Dengue And Poverty