Dengue watch prompts ban on OTC sale of anti-inflammatory meds

Delhi government has decided to ban over-the-counter sale of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Aspirin, Dispirin, Brufen, Voveran, etc. From August 15 till November 30 as the use of these, according to experts, may pose a threat to dengue patients.

New Delhi: Delhi government has decided to ban over-the-counter sale of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Aspirin, Dispirin, Brufen, Voveran, etc. From August 15 till November 30 as the use of these, according to experts, may pose a threat to dengue patients.

"NSAIDs drugs (Aspirin, Dispirin, Brufen, Voveran, etc.) will be banned for over-the-counter (OTC) sale by chemists from August 15 till November 30. It will be sold only on the basis of prescription by a qualified doctor.

"According to dengue experts, these drugs may add to the haemorrhage symptoms and can cause death in dengue patients," said a senior Delhi government official.

At a review meeting today, Health Minister Satyendra Jain today directed medical superintendents at all hospitals in the city to procure NS1 Antigen detection kits and also arrange for adequate number of beds during the peak dengue season.

"IgM (Mac ELISA) kits will be provided centrally by NIV, Pune," said the official.

Hospitals have been asked to keep adequate blood and supplies. Besides, all Delhi government hospitals, structures and institutions have been asked to procure mosquito-proof air coolers (MPC) designed by National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

"Mosquito bed nets will be made available at each of the 33 Sentinel Surveillance Hospitals.

"Delhi government will also give appreciation certificates to those government hospitals or buildings where no breeding is found while the defaulters would be penalised," said the official.

Jain has also directed that all advisories regarding dengue and its management with respect to government and private hospitals, dispensaries, laboratories and general public be redrafted and simplified.

"The misconception, particularly regarding platelet count, amongst general public and healthcare providers should be clarified in the said advisories," the minister said.

In a bid to spread awareness, schoolchildren will be told about the life cycle of the Aedes mosquito, which transmits dnegue, and be engaged in dengue-control activities.

"Students should be given projects related to dengue cards with checklists for checking breeding of mosquitoes in their own households and 10 other neighbourhood households," said Jain.

The Delhi Health Minister also stresssed on sensitising students so that they become brand ambassadors for the prevention and control of dengue.

Also, domestic breeding checkers (DBCs) will be provided with pamphlets and advisories for distribution among households.

Jain also asked for pictorial pamphlets to be prepared containing Dos and Don'ts, including symptoms described in easily understandable terms, mode of transmission, habits and habitats of mosquitoes.

Besides, awareness campaigns through radio jingles, newspapers, hoardings, public address systems, etc. Will be carried out along with an intensive drive to check mosquito- breeding at hospitals, schools, police stations, places of worship, government buildings, etc.

Schoolchildren and the public have been advised to wear full length garments during the dengue season.

Jain, meanwhile, informed that the Union Health Ministry has assured its full support to Delhi government for the prevention and control of dengue and other vector-borne diseases.