Over 1 in 4 Indian families surveyed say one or more members have fallen ill in the last 3 years due to mosquito borne diseases; 7 in 10 say their local body hasn’t conducted fogging recently and they rely on repellent sprays, creams and machines
- ● 73% citizens say that municipal corporation/panchayat has not done fogging in their area in last 45 days
- ● 28% of them say that they or someone in their family fell ill due to mosquito borne diseases in the last 3 years
- ● 43% citizens say that on average their family spends INR 200 or more per month on mosquito control
- ● 54% citizens say they use mosquito “repellent liquids or sprays”; 52% use battery operated “rackets”
October 18, 2023, New Delhi: Dengue and other vector borne diseases such as malaria and chikungunya are on the rise once again across several states, prompting health officials to intensify their efforts to contain and combat the spread of these diseases which can lead to severe health complications and prolonged medical treatment. West Bengal is reported to have the largest number of dengue cases, but as the state authorities have been lax in proper reporting, according to the central government, there are no confirmed numbers.
Over 20 states have reported anywhere between 1000-10,000 Dengue cases this year already while another 15 have reported under 1000 cases. Cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), a severe and sometimes fatal form have also been reported across many states. And more Dengue cases in the country go unreported than those are reported as many just resort to home treatment and recover in 7-10 days. Similarly, cases of malaria and chikungunya have also seen a rise in the recent months.
The mosquito menace issue continues to persist in India every year and yet little is done proactively by local civic bodies to deal with it proactively. With thousands of posts and comments received from citizens since July on the subject, LocalCircles conducted a pan India survey to find out if the civic authorities and other elected bodies in cities across the country are taking adequate measures to check spread of vector borne diseases in the country and if households were getting affected. The survey received over 58,000 responses from citizens located in 327 districts of India. 62% respondents were men while 38% respondents were women. 47% respondents were from tier 1, 34% from tier 2 and 19% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.
73% of citizens surveyed indicated no anti-mosquito fogging has been done in their area during the last 45 days
Despite the rise in number of dengue and malaria cases in the cities, very few civic bodies including in Delhi and Mumbai are reported to have undertaken pro-active fogging measures. The survey first asked repondents “Has your municipal corporation/ panchayats conducted anti-mosquito fogging in your area in the last 45 days?” Out of 11,508 citizens who responded to this query 73% stated no it has not been done. Breakdown of data shows that while 49% of respondents stated “no”; 24% indicated that “no, they never do it”. Of the remaining, 21% indicated “yes, once” in the last 45 days; 4% stated anti-mosquito fogging was done “multiple times” in the last 45 days; and 2% of citizens were not sure.
73% of citizens indicated that municipal corporations/ panchayats did not actively work in the past years to prevent the spread of mosquito borne diseases at least during the monsoon season
It is a known fact that the mosquito menace increases during the monsoon and post monsoon months in India but in some cities and town mosquitoes have become a perennial problem. The next survey question asked respondents “Has your municipal corporation/ panchayat actively worked in the past years to prevent the spread of mosquito borne diseases at least during the monsoon season?” Unfortunately, 73% out of 11,545 respondents to this query stated “no, they haven’t”. Of the remaining respondents, 21% indicated that “yes, they have” and 6% indicated “can’t say” as they are not sure.
28% of the respondents stated that they or someone in their family fell ill due to mosquito borne diseases in the last 3 years
Normally people who get infected with malaria rely more on home treatment. Similarly, in the case of dengue people don’t always report to the authorities or seek medical help unless the patient’s health worsens. The next question asked respondents “Have you or any member of the family fallen ill due to mosquito borne diseases in the last 3 years?” Out of 11,545 respondents to this query 28% stated that they or someone in their family fell ill due to mosquito borne diseases in the last 3 years. The survey data shows that while 19% of respondents had “multiple family members” falling ill due to vector borne diseases, 9% stated that “one of us” fell ill during the last 3 years. However, 66% of respondents indicated no one in their family had fallen ill due to vector borne diseases in the last 3 years and 6% did not give a clear response.
43% of consumer households indicated that they spend INR 200 or more each month on mosquito control
Given that health and civic authorities don’t act promptly to prevent mosquito menace, people rely on various products like sprays, creams and other chemical and natural repellants. The next asked respondents, “How much do you spend monthly as a household on mosquito control?” Out of 12,068 households which responded to this query 43% indicated that they spend INR 200 or more each month on mosquito control. Data shows that 41%, the largest group, of respondents spend up to INR 200 every month on mosquito repellents while 30% spend INR 200-500 every month; 7% of households surveyed spend 500-1000 every month; 2% spend INR 100-2000 on an average every month; another 2% spend 2000-5000 and 2% spend over INR 5000 to ward off mosquitoes. However, while 4% of respondents failed to give a clear response, opting for “can’t say”, 12% of households surveyed shared that they don’t spend anything on mosquito repellents. This may be because they already have mosquito nets fixed on their door and window or possibly they are lucky enough to stay in a mosquito free environment.
Largest section of 54% of households indicated “repellent liquids or sprays”; 52% indicated battery operated “rackets”
As mentioned before, consumers in India have a wide choice of mosquito repellents to choose from the market, these include several chemical free products. The survey sought to know from respondents, “What are all the different products and services that you use for mosquito control in your household?” Some among the over 12,000 respondents to this query chose more than one option. The largest section of 54% of households indicated “repellent liquids or sprays”; 52% indicated battery operated “rackets”; 44% indicated “repellent machines”; 28% indicated “anti-mosquito creams”; 26% indicated “coils”;18% “fogging services”; 4% “patches”; and 16% other products and services.
In summary, despite an increasing number of people falling sick due to mosquito borne diseases in the last 3 years, 73% of citizens surveyed indicated that municipal corporations/ panchayats in their area did not actively work in the past years to prevent the spread of mosquito borne diseases at least during the monsoon season. In fact, no anti-mosquito fogging has been done in their area during the last 45 days, according to 73% of citizens surveyed. The outcome is that 28% of the respondents stated that they or someone in their family fell ill due to mosquito borne diseases in the last 3 years, which is a very high percentage. The fact that at times deaths do occur due to vector borne disease like dengue and falling sick and needing medical care can be expensive is something that cannot be ignored. Also long spells of illness, particularly if the person is the breadwinner of the family, can mean loss of income. With the civic authorities across the country taking little or no action to protect the residents of the town and cities and even villages, households spend on from their pocket to safeguard against mosquito bites and resultant illness. The survey shows that 43% of households surveyed spend INR 200 or more each month on mosquito control. Majority rely on liquid repellents or sprays and battery operated rackets.
LocalCircles will be sharing this survey with the stakeholders in the central and state Governments urging them to take mosquito control actions via civic bodies immediately and drive better planning and execution in 2024.
The survey received over 58,000 responses from citizens located in 327 districts of India. 62% respondents were men while 38% respondents were women. 47% respondents were from tier 1, 34% from tier 2 and 19% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants were validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.