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Monsoon brings health woes to fore, viral diseases grip city

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Jamshedpur, June 26: With the onset of monsoon the district administration is abundant with letters seeking cleaning up drive in the river bank areas within the vicinity of the city.

The district health department has received applications mentioning the possibility of health-related problems if adequate measures are not taken on time.

Local social organizations and political parties have taken up the issue with the health department but so far, nothing worth visible is there on ground as far as measures are concerned.

However, no official or health worker of the government agency has reached the sites so far. Laxminagar, Ramjanamnagar, Kabirnagar, Nirmalnagar among others are mentioned in the letter.

“It is not a new case every year before the start of the monsoon we approach the district health department but it is only when the monsoon in on the peak the (health) officials visit the riverbank areas to take up the exercise,” said Shailender Mahato, a senior functionary of the social outfit and member of JMM.

“There is no sense approaching the health officials as it is only when the deputy commissioner pulls up the concerned officials during the peak of the monsoon the latter move into the slums located on the banks of the Subernarekha and Kharkhai rivers,” informed, the vocal JVM leader.

In the last three days, nearly two dozen cases of malaria and diarrhea have been reported in different hospitals, private and public, literally putting pressure on the health machinery to come out with effective preventive measures. “Along with bleaching, DTT power and larvicidal spraying, we are also carrying out fogging in the affected area,” said district malaria officer.

The densely populated slums in all the three notified areas of Jamshedpur, Mango and Jugsalai in the Dhalbhum subdivision are the worst affected areas. The clogged drains in the said localities which were identified for cleaning several weeks ago are proving to be safe breeding ground for the mosquitoes.

“The action plan chalked out by the sub-divisional officer in April this year probably failed to take off otherwise, the clogged drains in the slums would have been cleaned by now,” claimed a functionary of the Occupational Safety and Health Association of Jharkhand.

The district administration had also mulled launching special awareness campaign through pamphlets among the locals explaining them about the symptoms of the vector borne diseases and steps to prevent it but there’s no such campaign visible in the district, thus far.

“In the last three days we have removed about 1,700 rundown tyres (they are ideal mosquito breeding grounds) from different locations,” said an official in the Integrated Diseases Surveillance Program (IDSP) cell referring to the on ground measures undertaken by the department to fight vector menace.

Surprisingly, when approached the deputy commissioner of the East Singhbhum informed that adequate measures are being carried out to ensure things get addressed before the monsoon turns heavy.

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