Monday, November 20, 2017
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Dengue

If press reports are to be believed, dengue cases are on the rise and hospitals are packed with patients suffering from this deadly disease.

But the Health officials have done nothing except to repeat parrot-like the precautions that one should take to keep the disease away. What these health officials do not seem to realise is that the precautionary stuff that they are doling out every now and then is available on Internet. Those who can read newspapers also, in most cases, have an internet connection. In fact some of the readers are better informed about what should and should not be done.
Therefore the Health officials should stop telling us to empty our coolers and flowerpots of water and so on but come out with a comprehensive plan to combat the menace.
Fogging is one of the easiest ways to kill the dengue-carrying mosquitoes. The fogging will also destroy mosquitoes of all varieties including those that spread malaria and encephalitis. Don’t  the Health authorities realize the benefits of fogging? If they do then why aren’t they conducting the fogging operations? We find reports saying that fogging is not being done though the Health authorities keep on claiming intermittently that they have carried out the anti-mosquito operations. Apparently the officials are given this report by the juniors some of whom could be telling a lie, knowing full well that the officers will not move out of their chambers to verify the truth
If funds are standing in the way, why aren’t they saying so? Whenever a mishap occurs or some persons are killed in riots the State announces fat compensation amount. But can’t it spare money to save lives instead of compensating the relatives when the person dies of a deadly disease? Incidentally CMO Dr Padmakar Singh is repeating what his predecessors have been saying for the last ten years. He says ‘Majority of patients undergoing treatment in different hospitals are from neighbouring cities and states’. The only saving grace is that his statement implies that a minority could be from Allahabad. But in 2003 his predecessor in office was not willing to concede even that and became quiet(without commenting) only when newspapers blasted him with the local addresses of the victims who contacted dengue here, right in the city as they and not moved out of Allahabad at all. Why should facts be hidden considering that doing so makes people complacent and careless and more prone to falling a prey to the deadly disease.
Right now the situation seems to be precarious. And if the Health department can do nothing concrete to meet the frightening challenge then what is the utility of having such a department? Many may even go to the extent of suggesting that the department should be disbanded. We don’t want a staff to tell us that precaution is the best remedy, that cases in hospitals are from outside and that we must not get panicky. Is this the correct policy to adopt? One suspects that it is this very mentality which  resulted in encephalitis going from Gorakhpur to other regions of the state. Who will change the works culture of the various health units being run by the state?

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