The two-month long campaign 'U & Me Against Dengue', a public-private partnership is spread over six major cities including Delhi, and will target school children and adults alike to effective dissemination of information.

Global health major Reckett Benckiser has partnered with North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), All India institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Indian Medical Association (IMA) and NGOs like Rotary to raise awareness months before the actual dengue season sets in.

NDMC, which is the on ground partner for the campaign will help carry out fumigation drives in concerned school in the municipal areas.

The campaign which will be rolled out in phases in five other cities Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune and Ahemdabad also has a dedicated website and a presence on social media.

"As part of the campaign we will have a school outreach programme targeting over 65,000 students across more than 130 schools. The NDMC will help us with the fumigation drives and identifying municipal schools. Our aim is to sensitise citizens way before the vector-borne disease breaks in during its season," Reckitt Benckiser India, General Manager Nitish Kapoor said.

The organisers said apart from a dedicated website a 24x7 helpline has been set up to entertain all queries concerning the disease that affects many lives year after year.

"The toll-free dengue helpline (1800-200-0801) is operative as we speak. It is available in four languages English, Hindi, Bengali and Kannada," Kapoor said.

NDMC Mayor Azad Singh said, "Early rain in the capital means we should be alert beforehand. And, this campaign will help build the right groundwork before we hit the dengue season civic campaign."

"The campaign aims at creating a healthy environment for people before the dengue season sets in, so that citizens are well-equipped to handle any situation. Also, we will be undertaking huge cleanliness drives in schools and neighbourhoods to create a healthy atmosphere," Vice- President, Reckitt Benckiser South East Asia Chander Mohan Sethi said at the launch.

Last year, 5,574 cases of dengue were reported from Delhi and the disease, spread by female Aedes mosquito claimed six lives, as per the official tally provided by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. North Delhi had reported maximum number of cases with the disease peaking in October-November .

The capital had witnessed a large number of dengue cases in the 2010 with over 6,000 cases being reported. In 2008, over 1,300 cases were registered, 1,153 in 2009, over 1,100 cases in 2011 and 2,093 in 2012.

While AIIMS and IMA serve as knowledge partners, Rotary Blood Bank is the blood donation partner.


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