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Odisha: Dengue spreads its tentacles, Hospitals lack in facilities to combat  

Monday June 09, 2014

ODISHA, HEALTH, HOSPITAL, DENGUE, GANJAM  
 

"Although health department of Odisha claims to have all facilities in place for immediate treatment of dengue patients, most of the hospitals including the MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur lack to have necessary facilities to provide immediate treatment to serious dengue patients coming from distant villages.

 

HNF Correspondent

 
 

The dengue menace is back in Odisha affecting over 1700 persons, most from Balasore and Ganjam district. With the number growing everyday, hospitals are finding it difficult to accommodate the patients and provide treatment. The worst hit this year is southern district of Ganjam where number of affected persons admitted in hospitals has crossed 380.

Although health department of Odisha claims to have all facilities in place for immediate treatment of dengue patients, most of the hospitals including the MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur lack to have necessary facilities to provide immediate treatment to serious dengue patients coming from distant villages.

 

While the National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme that deals with all kinds of infections and diseases caused by mosquitoes has approved MAC-ELISA tests as mandatory to diagnose dengue, equipment in MKCG Medical College for the purpose have remained defunct since many days. The fact came to public only after six students and one associate professor of the medical college fell sick with Dengue and were shifted to private hospitals in Bhubaneswar, capital city of the State.

Patients who came from distant villages and took admission in the Medical College Hospital for better treatment were asked to do all the tests in some specific city based private hospitals by paying heavy charges. Many of the patients and their attendants suspect a nexus between the private nursing home owners and the Medical College authorities behind declaring the MAC-ELISA equipment defunct.

Many of the patients are also forced to take admission in private hospitals and nursing homes because the dengue wards with limited bed facilities in government hospitals are already over-crowded with patients. So, the poor patients coming from villages are finding it difficult to get proper treatment. In many cases, poor patients are not getting proper treatment because they are unable to afford to the treatment in private hospitals and the government hospitals do not have space to accommodate them.

This year, dengue virus was first detected in the month of August. The patients increasingly came to different hospitals in the later part of September. Even though the government and hospital authorities got enough time none of the both bothered to enhance number of beds and keep the hospitals well prepared to deal with the situation.

By now, as per official figures, number of deaths in Odisha due to dengue has remained four. However, non-official sources suspect the number to be more. While distribution of mosquito nets and field based awareness campaigns in places where the virus has been detected would largely help in preventing dengue from spreading, steps to extend facilities in the hospitals for treatment of dengue patients must be taken up seriously by the Odisha government to bring the disease under control.

 
 

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