Tackling Dengue in preparation for Bangladesh monsoon season
SMEC in Bangladesh recently launched a Dengue Prevention initiative to safeguard the health and well-being of employees and surrounding communities. With a commitment to creating a safer environment and raising awareness about deadly Dengue fever, the Health and Safety team rolled out a comprehensive campaign across all offices and project sites.
The specially curated training sessions combined a mix of classroom and practical training to combat Dengue in the workplace and on construction sites. Through a series of engaging activities, the initiative aimed to foster a culture of health consciousness, open discussion, and proactive measures to combat the Aedes mosquito-borne disease.
Promoting Dengue Prevention
The population of Bangladesh is growing rapidly, and many people are moving to cities. This has led to a change in the environment, with more standing water available for mosquitoes to breed in.
Dengue Prevention Day aimed to educate employees, partners and the community about preventive measures that can be taken to minimize the risk of Dengue Fever transmission. The SACA Health & Safety team organised a special safety talk, where they shared essential information about Dengue, its symptoms, and effective preventive measures.
Open Discussions and Knowledge Sharing
The team also conducted an interactive session on Dengue prevention to create open discussion and reinforce learnings. Employees and stakeholders actively participated in sharing their insights, experiences, and concerns related to Dengue. This opportunity allowed for free exchange of ideas and best practices, empowering everyone involved to contribute to the collective efforts to combating the disease. Some of the takeaways included:
- Avoiding mosquito bites. Dengue fever is transmitted through the bites of infected Aedes mosquitoes. The dengue virus is passed on to humans when the infected mosquito bites them. Bites can be avoided by wearing long sleeves and pants, using insect repellent, and sleeping under a mosquito net or installing screens. You can also use fans, as mosquitoes are weak fliers and can’t withstand strong air currents.
- Disposing of standing water. Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so it is important to dispose of any water that is not being used. Regularly inspect your homes, yards, and workplaces for any containers holding stagnant water, and dispose of or cover them properly. If you have pets’ water dishes, vases, or plant pots, change the water at least once a week.
- Cleaning your surroundings. This includes clearing away debris and vegetation that can provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Make sure gutters, drains, and waterways are free from debris and don’t allow water to accumulate.
Community Engagement and Search for Breeding Grounds
To extend the campaign’s reach beyond the office boundaries, the local community were engaged By involving the community in the fight against Dengue, the team aimed to create a ripple effect that would promote positive behaviour changes.
Our Safety Talk Session proved to be insightful, covering topics such as Dengue transmission, the importance of mosquito awareness, and practical measures to eliminate breeding sites. We emphasized the significance of creating mosquito-proof living spaces and using personal protection to stay safe. Throughout the session, all in attendance were well-informed about the risks of mosquito bites and diligently implemented necessary precautions to safeguard themselves. This includes wearing appropriate clothing and using repellent or mosquito nets.
During Dengue Prevention Day, the team carried out special visits to inspect and identify potential breeding grounds for the Aedes mosquito. Teams were dispatched to thoroughly search and eliminate any standing water sources, where mosquitoes tend to lay eggs. This proactive approach helped to reduce the mosquito population and mitigate the risk of Dengue transmission in both the workplace and the community.
Measuring Impact and Future Initiatives
Approximately 486 people participated in the campaign to learn more about Dengue Prevention with several high-risk breeding sites removed. The success of the initiative has provided an effective framework for the team to continue the roll out of future health and safety campaigns in the region.
The Dengue Prevention Day in Bangladesh is an example of SMECs commitment to the well-being of employees and the communities we serve. By building on the momentum generated through Dengue Prevention Day, SMEC SACA Health & Safety Team aims to create a lasting culture of health consciousness, safety, and community engagement.
Through education, open discussions, community engagement, and proactive measures, the campaign shows how corporations can be agents of positive change. By fostering a safer environment and empowering individuals to take charge of their health, the initiative serves as a guiding light for similar endeavours in the future, leading the way toward a healthier Bangladesh.
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