Ayush to distribute mosquito repellent plants

Five varieties of plants have been selected for the pilot project
Last Updated : 05 February 2013, 18:07 IST
Last Updated : 05 February 2013, 18:07 IST

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With Mangalore city registering increase in number of mosquito borne diseases like malaria and dengue every year, the Department of AYUSH has chosen the district Ayush unit for implementing its pilot project on growing mosquito repellent plants in the surroundings of the houses  to control mosquitoes.

In an attempt to find solution to the existing problem by indigenous way, the district AYUSH unit has taken up the task of planting and distributing five varieties of Ayurvedic plants that are having the qualities to act as mosquito repellent agents. The five plants selected for the purpose are Lemon grass (Cymbopogan citrates), Citronella (Cymbopogan nardus), Agni mantha (Premna integrifolia), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) and Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis).

These plants act as mosquito repellents mainly due to the strong odor emanating from them, specially when they are shaken or touched.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, District AYUSH Officer Dr Sadashivanand said that around 300 plants of each variety are planted in the AYUSH office premises during the last one month which will be distributed to the selected houses in April.

“We have decided to choose one ward in the city that has registered highest number of mosquito borne diseases and distribute one or two plants to individual houses requesting the house owner to nurture them.

Apartments will be excluded as the residents normally take preventive measures to protect themselves from mosquitoes. The Department targets people who are residing in broken and badly maintained houses,” he said.

Though the Department initially decided to choose Shakthi Nagar ward for the purpose, as it has registered highest Malaria cases last year, it has been now decided to shift the venue to a ward with more number of slum dwellers for implementing the pilot project.

The department staff have collected the plant varieties and are nurturing them. The office staff will inspect the conditions of plants once in a month, after the plants are handed over to the people.

Awareness programmes too will be conducted to inform the people about the significance of growing mosquito repellent plants in and around the houses.

“When we have mosquito repellent plants which are available free of cost and hardly require any efforts to nurture, why go for creams and other products that are harmful to health. The decision on implementing the project on a full-fledged basis, will be taken, based on the result of the pilot project,” said Dr Sadashivanand.

Published 05 February 2013, 18:07 IST

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