Swamps in south Jeddah a dengue fever threat, say residents

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Swamped areas in south Jeddah could cause many people to contract dengue fever, residents said during an Okaz newspaper and Saudi Gazette tour of the affected areas.

The residents attributed these swamps to sanitary drainage projects, leakage from the desalinated water network or groundwater.

These have all increased the breeding of mosquitoes, they said.

Fahd Hamdi and Nasser Al-Zahrani, Saudi nationals living in the area, said there were a number of swamps and stagnant ponds in some districts of south Jeddah.

The stagnant water has not been pumped out by local authorities despite complaints from local residents, who said cases of dengue fever have sprung up as a result.

They demanded that these stagnant ponds and swamps be pumped out, especially as they are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Waheed Al-Yami, another Saudi national, said the stagnant water was causing mosquitoes to multiply and cause dengue fever.

Ignoring these swamps and stagnant pools is harming local residents, he said.

Meanwhile, director of Jeddah Health Affairs Dr. Sami Badawood said 10 cases of dengue fever were discovered last week.

Badawood said a few months ago, hospitals in Jeddah received many cases of dengue fever. Thanks to efforts to eradicate the disease, these cases decreased to just a few, before their number rose once again to 10 last week.

He said Health Affairs deals with dengue fever with two weeks of treatment. Badawood said the committee headed by Jeddah Municipality to combat mosquitoes is still working hard to tackle dengue fever by dealing with lakes, swampy areas and stagnant ponds in the governorate.

The Health Affairs department disseminates its preventive programs in Jeddah and makes sure that there are no epidemic cases.

He called on the public to take preventive measures against mosquitoes, such as using creams to prevent bites, especially during sunrise and before sunset.

Other sources confirmed that the Ministry of Agriculture is spraying swampy areas in the Jeddah governorate with different insecticides using planes. There are also ground spraying teams.

The ministry is monitoring the number of mosquitoes in stagnant pools and lakes before and after they are sprayed, they said.

The Ministry of Agriculture is also spraying swamps outside urban areas and the sanitary drainage canal in the south of Makkah using aircraft.

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