Sri Lanka will have an anti dengue vaccine by 2015. This is the  promise held out by health officials who say that so far all other methods of controlling the spread of dengue have not proved effective.

“A vaccine to fight dengue has now been developed. Trials are being conducted and by 2015,  we hope to make this vaccine available to the public”, Dr Paba Pallihawardene , Head of the Entomological Department of the Ministry of Health, told The Nation. She said that while the mortality rates had reduced by fifty percent this year due to, ‘ high density  training , awareness raising   and new testing devices in the country, the number of cases islandwide has not  decreased as expected. In fact, we have more cases than the previous year with 11,250 for the first four months and 55 deaths.

This is in spite of all the cleaning up operations, improved garbage disposal, and fogging, spraying BTI etc, and surveillance of all mosquito high risk places. Since we have so many waterways in this country, it is impossible for us to get rid of them all. Mosquitoes have also found new places to breed in cemented wells instead of the usual home gardens. So a vaccine can  go a long way to pre vent the disease spreading.”

She said that thanks to the Police several errant mosquito breeders had been charge and fined.  Police sources  have been reported as saying that for the first quarter of the year there were 2191 dengue  related arrests and nearly four million  rupees was collected as fines from mosquito breeders.