With 15 more deaths in just 24 hours until Friday morning, the number of dengue fatalities across the country has risen to 706, according to the Directorate General of Health Services. During the period, 1,876 more patients were hospitalized with viral fever, which brings the total number of dengue patients for the year to 9,730.

This is incredibly alarming even in the context of dengue’s annual nature in Bangladesh.

But what is especially disappointing is the government’s haphazard approach when it comes to combatting the rising tide of dengue which has led to record fatalities resulting from the disease.

From setting up hospitals to going on awareness drives, the government has certainly been busy in the lead up to and during this year’s monsoon, but the key area where there are clear deficiencies is mosquito control, the measures taken for which have simply not been effective.

And a lack of effective solutions is at the heart of this issue. While authorities have gone on multiple awareness drives, we still need to work on our water clogging issues and clean up our existing water ways. Aside from hospitals, we also need to invest in epidemiological research and solutions as neighbouring countries have found much success through investing in this solution.

Essentially, what Bangladesh needs to do is to analyse and potentially replicate what other countries have done to eradicate this threat and adapt it to our local context.

Bangladesh has already lost over 700 lives this year to dengue, and while we can’t bring those lives back, the least the government can do is prevent further lives being lost to this disease run amok.

This article was first published on Dhaka Tribune.