State

Steep decline in Dengue and Malaria cases in Uttarakhand

71 percent decreases in Dengue and 80 percent drop in Malaria

The state medical health and family welfare department has claimed a whopping 71 percent decline in the number of Dengue patients in Uttarakhand from 2016 to 2018. The department further claimed that the decrease has occurred as an effective strategy to counter the disease had been followed in the State. A report mentioning the decrease in the number of the vector-borne diseases in the State was presented in course of the review meeting presided over by the secretary medical health, Nitesh Jha on Tuesday. In the report, the department claimed that 2046 patients had been affected by the dengue in 2016 while in 2018, just 591 patients of the disease had been reported positive. The department officials told the secretary that the teams of the health department and Asha workers had covered two lakh houses in the sensitive areas under the plan to control the disease and had taken preventive measures. The teams had also raised awareness about the disease, the department claimed and added that intensive fogging and spraying of insecticide in affected areas had also been undertaken by the department on a war footing, resulting in curbing the breeding of the mosquitoes. In another claim, the department officials said that the number of Malaria patients in the State to has decreased by 80 percent in one year. The State nodal officer Dr Pankaj Singh said that Malaria and Dengue have been kept under the category of diseases to be notified due to which it has been made mandatory for the private hospitals to inform the health department about the disease. It was also found that negligible cases of diseases like Chikungunya and Japanese Elephantiasis have been reported in the State. On Swine flu, the department claimed that it has constituted rapid response team at the district level which provides preventive treatment to the patients and those who came into contact with the patient so that the spread of the disease is prevented.

Department’s claims hollow: experts

Though the claims made by the health department on the drastic cut in the number of patients of the vector-borne diseases like Dengue and Malaria look impressive those associated with the department say that the claim has no ground to stand on. They have pointed out that the department’s claim that the Dengue cases have dropped by 70 percent in the last two years lacks credibility. “In 2016, the health department was very active following the spurt in Dengue in some areas of Dehradun. At the time special camps were organized in the affected areas and a large number of cases was detected. This year the number of cases were less but not to the extent the department officials are claiming it to be,’’ said a health department officer, requesting anonymity. Similarly, a physician working in a renowned private hospital said that the number of Dengue patients has shown no perceptible drop this year. “It is clear that the databasing on which the health department is claiming the drop in Dengue and Malaria cases is not comprehensive,’’ he said. Read more posts… Thursday, 13 December 2018 | PNS | Dehradun

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