Mosquito Menace: 70% Indian households say their Municipal Corporation or Panchayat does not at all or rarely does any fogging for mosquito control
- ● 79% Indian households are spending each month on mosquito control; Over 35% households are spending INR 200 or more on it each month
- ● Only 5% Indian households use fogging services for mosquito control while the majority rely on electric repellents, rackets, coils, sprays and creams
August 31, 2021, New Delhi: With various parts of India experiencing incessant rain since July, some states are already witnessing an increase in mosquito-borne diseases. For instance, Mumbai is already seeing a surge in dengue and malaria cases at most of its hospitals. Hyderabad has already reported over 800 cases of dengue alone in the last 10 days. Mosquitos are rampant across many cities and with schools now opened in most states and several others considering opening them in the next few weeks, the cases of mosquito-borne diseases will likely increase in September.
Taking cognizance of the issue, health officials in Madurai District have already started deploying domestic breeding checkers to monitor areas that are prone to dengue, and are conducting indoor and outdoor fogging to kill mosquitos that may be carrying a dengue virus. In Delhi, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation recently issued legal notices to 20 state bus depots for allegedly failing to contain mosquito breeding during monsoon. In Ahmedabad too, officials carried out checks at 380 commercial establishments and reportedly fined 53 of them on finding mosquito breeding sites. While active actions are taken by a few municipalities, there are thousands of others who continue to be inactive on the issue of mosquito control. Be it construction sites, public places or garbage dump sites, mosquito breeding goes unchecked by most authorities. Citizens are left to fend for themselves and many are forced to buy various mosquito control products like repellent machines and liquids, coils, rackets to creams and patches to get rid of mosquitos around their homes.
After hundreds of posts and comments were received in the last 2-3 weeks about the mosquito menace, LocalCircles conducted a survey to understand the type of mosquito control products and services citizens use at homes to get rid of the deadly insects, along with the amount of money they spend each month in buying such mosquito control products/services. It also sought to know how often their municipality or panchayat are conducting fogging services to prevent mosquito-borne diseases in their area. The survey received more than 38,000 responses from Indians residing in 352 districts of India. 61% of the participants were men while 39% were women. 43% of respondents were from tier 1 districts, 31% from tier 2 and 26% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.
Mosquito menace: 35% Indian households spend INR 200 or more each month on mosquito control; 44% spend up to INR 200
The first question in the survey asked citizens about the amount of money their household spends on mosquito control. In response, 5% of citizens said they spend “INR 1,000-2,000” buying mosquito control products and services. 12% spend “INR 500-1,000”, 18% spend “INR 200-500”, and 44% spend “up to INR 200” buying mosquito control products and services. 20% of citizens said they “don’t spend anything”, while 1% couldn’t say. On an aggregate basis, 35% of Indian households spend INR 200 or more each month on mosquito control products and services, while 44% spend up to INR 200. This question in the survey received 10,303 responses.
Mosquito menace: Only 5% Indian households use fogging services for mosquito control while the majority rely on electric repellents, rackets, coils, sprays and creams
The next question in the survey asked citizens about the kind of products and services their households use for mosquito control. In response, 5% said they use “(1) fogging services”, 32% said “(2) repellent machines, coils, rackets”, and 15% said “(3) repellent liquids, sprays, creams and patches” for mosquito control in their houses. Breaking down the poll, 23% of citizens surveyed said they use “2 & 3” kinds of mosquito control products from the aforementioned options. 3% use “1 & 3”, 1% use “1 % 2”, and 5% use all “1, 2 & 3” kinds of mosquito control products and services. There were also 13% of citizens who said they use “other products or services” to control mosquitos, while 3% couldn’t say. On an aggregate basis, only 5% of Indian households use fogging services for mosquito control while the majority rely on electric repellents, rackets, coils, sprays and creams. 61% use repellent machines, coils and rackets while 46% use repellent sprays, liquids & creams. This question in the survey received 10,140 responses.
Mosquito menace: 70% Indian households say their Municipal Corporation or Panchayat does not at all or rarely does any fogging activity for mosquito control in their area
The final question sought citizens’ observation about the number of times their Municipal Corporation or Panchayat conducts anti-mosquito fogging in their area. In response, 37% of citizens said Municipality or Panchayat “never” conducts fogging activity for mosquito control in their area. 33% said they conduct such activity “1-2 times”, 10% said “3-6 times”, 8% said “6-12 times”, and 5% said “over 12 times” a year. 7% of citizens couldn’t say. On an aggregate basis, 70% of Indian households say their Municipal Corporation or Panchayat does not at all or rarely does any fogging activity for mosquito control in their area. This question in the survey received 17,985 responses.
Many people have also highlighted that there is no transparency in when the municipal corporation or panchayat does fogging activity and who the point of contact is in case such services are not performed. People also raised concerns that their muncipality may be allocating funds to such a service but they are non-existent on ground.
In summary, the findings of the survey indicate that the majority of Indian households regardless of financial status are buying mosquito control products to keep themselves safe. While only a small 5% are using privately hired fogging services, the majority rely on electric repellents, coils, rackets, creams and sprays to keep themselves safe. 35% of the households are spending over INR 200 each month on mosquito control and 44% of households are spending up to INR 200 to keep mosquitoes away. 70% of respondents said their municipal corporations and panchayats are not providing fogging services or providing them once or twice a year. This clearly highlights a major gap in civic services in most of the locations.
Lack of mosquito control leads to diseases like Dengue, Malaria, Chikungunya and others, leading to the burden of medicines, pathology tests, hospitalisation which translates into negative financial impact due to costs incurred for treatment as well as loss of workdays. Not to forget are also the many sleepless nights that people go through which ultimately lead to lower levels of productivity and efficiency during the day.
It is critical that every State Government tie the accountability on mosquito control to their municipal commissioners and panchayat heads who in turn should tie it to health officials in their team and local councilors and representatives. Also, it is important that schedules be laid and published in advance for all fogging activity and inspections so in case there are gaps, the same can be highlighted by people and redressed. As a nation, we need to address the issue of mosquito menace on priority, and perhaps it is time for a Mosquito-Free India Mission or a Swachh Bharat Mission Part 2 so it can receive the right focus from both Central and State Governments.
LocalCircles with share the findings with key stakeholders in Central Government as well as all State Chief Secretaries so the message can reach all municipalities and panchayat heads that the common citizen in India needs them to act on the issue of mosquito control.
The survey received more than 38,000 responses from Indians residing in 352 districts of India. 61% of the participants were men while 39% were women. 43% of respondents were from tier 1 districts, 31% from tier 2 and 26% 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.