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Jamshedpur: Rise in cases of vector-borne diseases, rush at MGM Hospital

Jamshedpur, June 30: Vector-borne diseases have started to spread in the state and the footfall of patients at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) Hospital is increasing with every passing day. Fearing that the situation might get worse, the hospital authorities are bracing themselves to tackle the problem. Patients suffering from diseases like malaria, diarrhoea, and viral fever, are reporting in large numbers at the hospital, and there is a high possibility that the medical centre might fall short of beds in the coming days.

The health centres across the district have been asked to provide a line list of patients with symptoms of such diseases on a 24 hourly basis. “The line lists of patients would contain name, age, and sex, along with the full address of the patient undergoing treatment at a health center. This would help us in locating not only the patient but also preventive measures in the residential area of the affected persons to prevent vector breeding centers,” said an official.

 Preventive measures include coordinating with the district health department (read district malaria officer) in carrying out spraying of bleaching powders, DDT, and anti larvicidal in affected areas identified on the basis of the location of patients undergoing treatment at health centers.

According to the hospital authorities, almost 180 patients suffering from different vector-borne diseases are reported at the outdoor patient department (OPD) every day, out of which at least 30 per cent of cases are referred for indoor admission for intensive medical care.

 “Most of these vector-related cases have been reported from slum areas located in the periphery of the city since the monsoon arrived here about three weeks ago,” said an OPD doctor at MGM hospital. Out of the 520-bed capacity, 120 are reserved for the medicine ward, said hospital officials.

Notably, Singhbhum is a malaria-prone area where thousands of people, mostly the local villagers, fall victim to this vector-borne disease every year.  An unspecified number of  people also die of the disease. In the absence of adequate medical centres in the interiors of the twin districts of Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan district, malaria continues to spread unabated. Many of the villagers living in remote areas fail to come to a primary health centre (PHC) or sub-centre where the facility of getting blood tests and obtaining medicine has been provided by the state health department.

 District health unit has opted for a massive awareness drive with the distribution of leaflets across the district. “Though dengue cases have been confined primarily to city areas, we have decided to distribute leaflets even at block level as there are a large number of floating population from rural parts to the city. We have got over 1 lakh leaflets and have started distribution to create awareness on steps which should be taken to prevent the breeding of dengue mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti),” said an official.

 The leaflets inform on the need for maintaining cleanliness in and around houses, eradicating unused containers, which can lead to water accumulation and be a potential breeding spot for mosquitoes, periodically cleaning water tanks, coolers, refrigerators, and pots; keeping the lower portion of the body covered; and periodically cleaning dark places in the houses. The leaflets have been distributed to all the 235 sub health centers, nine community health centers, and 18 public health centers.

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