'Mosquito temple' helps curb malaria
Mokshagundam (Prakasam): The temple at Mokshagundam in Bestavaripeta mandal in Prakasam district is a unique place of worship. Devotees here do not ask for riches or deliverance from personal turmoul. All they ask is to be free of mosquito-borne diseases, a major concern in these parts.
Floral offerings are made and mantras are chanted texts here as in any temple. But the content of the mantras relate directly to public health rather than religion. They contain instructions on how to prevent proliferation of mosquito-related diseases. When dengue fever is reported in the area, for instance, the villagers write 'O doma, repu raa' on the doors of their houses.
It was a former medical officer at the primary health centre, Dr Satish, who came up with the idea of a 'mosquito temple' to bring about awareness of the mosquito menace. On a wall to the right side of the temple are set down the dos to be followed: keep the surroundings clean, prevent stagnation of water, don't leave cooking vessels lying around unwashed, and use mosquito nets.
Speaking to reporter, villager B Panduranga Reddy said the temple has brought about marked improvement in public hygiene. Another villager, Tammaneni Peddireddy nods assent, saying the message has got through effectively.The temple idea has indeed worked very well, says the doctor at the PHC, BV Ramana.
The PHC serves a population of 5000 from surrounding villages. And health assistants S Savitri and G V Prasad say that thanks to the temple and the awareness it has created, their work has become easier. The number of malaria cases in the area served by the PHC has come down.
News Posted: 10 April, 2011
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