Sunday, February 25, 2018
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Are Allahabad’s Health   authorities hiding the true position about the outbreak of dengue in the city? I am compelled to say this after reading a Delhi report which quotes experts to say that  the first step towards fighting the outbreak would be for the government to stop under-reporting cases and reveal the truth as that would  make people realise the gravity of the situation and also help in creating awareness. But it seems that Health authorities everywhere  hide the true picture to save their own skin and thereby keep the people in the dark as also complacent so that most of them hardly take any protective measures to combat a threat which might be looming large in their own area.

The Health authorities claim that the Emergency Medical Transport Services being operated by them with a fleet of 24 ambulances   responded  to 4196 calls including 2455 calls for transporting pregnant women to hospitals between April 1 and Augu31 this year. This is a good record. But did they also carry any serious case of dengue or high fever? And when they do take patients are they sure that hospitals will admit them?
I may point out to a depressing report on dengue appearing in a local Hindi daily yesterday. According to this report in Allahabad district already  2012 dengue cases have been reported. But the official figure stands at 25 with four deaths. If several others have died  too of  dengue there would be no way to confirm it. Since deaths are recorded in Nagar Nigam too one wonders whether all deaths occurring in the district or of patients coming from outside are recorded in the Nagar Nigam.
These days one finds fever cases occurring in large numbers. Many people just refuse to go to hospitals. They say that if they go to the SRN Hospital, they never know when they will be thrown out because almost every third day one read reports about patients being thrashed by the staff in case he complains of acute pain and desires doctor’s attention. They say that what happened in the case of a snake-bite victim, who lost his life because of the delay, could happen to them too. Another reluctant hospital visitor said if you go to a private hospital or a nursing home they will kill you with their inflated bills if the disease spares you. There have been instances when a sick person has passed away but he is still kept on ventilator to inflate the bill. One person said, ‘It is preferable to die at home in bed than to die in a Government hospital—not on bed but on the ground outside the wards where they might be thrown out by the shirking staff. ‘It is only in a recent case that the father of a young lad who died because of neglect had cases filed against seven doctors  via the court because the police were not filing the FIR.
The District administration should intervene to shakeup the health authorities so that instead of hiding facts about dengue they redouble their efforts to prevent the occurrence of fresh cases and ensure every  help to all those who have already fallen a prey to the deadly disease. And will the district officials also compel the health people to actually conduct fogging and not just show on record that fogging has been done? If things are probed deeply there may be another hidden scam that might be discovered—the fogging scam.

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