Two NCR districts fight dengue only on paper, ground reality starkly different

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Noida, Oct 16 (IANS) The spread of mosquito-borne diseases starts alongside the festive season around Diwali. Dengue cases have been rising in recent years and many families in Noida and Ghaziabad have lost their loved ones to this disease.

Even after facing the onslaught of dengue every year, the administration and the health department of both the districts do not seem to be paying any heed. On paper, in both the areas, there is a fierce fight against dengue with the government taking steps like anti-larvae spraying, fogging, cleaning the parks, drains and roads.

If fogging and anti-larvae spraying is done even once a month in their neighbourhood, the citizens consider themselves lucky. So far, 300 dengue cases have been reported in Ghaziabad and 50 in Noida.

The anti-malaria department issued a notice to the primary health centres (PHC) in-charges of Ghaziabad after the larvae of dengue mosquitoes were found in 20 PHCs during a recently conducted survey. Fines were imposed on the in-charges for negligence.

What do the Residents Welfare Associations (RWA) say?

Talking to IANS, Noida Sector 51 RWA office-bearer Sanjeev Kumar said, “The residents of this sector and the people of the RWA are very aware of dengue. That is why we constantly remain in touch with the district administration, health department every week, through messages and phone calls. We ask them to ensure constant fogging, anti-larvae spraying, and cleanliness and maintenance of parks, which is why people from the health department are often seen doing the same in this sector.”

Arjun Singh, a resident of Nithari village situated next to the district hospital of Noida, told IANS that there has been no fogging or anti-larvae spraying in his village for the past several weeks. His village lies right in the middle of the most posh sectors of Noida. But despite that, the people of the health department, district administration and authority are not seen taking any action due to which the risk of the spread of dengue has increased.

This village is surrounded by societies on all sides and whatever work is done by the Noida Authority or the health department, ends in the societies itself.

What do the officials say?

Talking to IANS, Rajesh Sharma, District Malaria Officer (DMO), Gautam Budh Nagar, said, “Our department has already been alerted, we are getting anti-larvae spraying and fogging done at all the identified places. A survey has been conducted where the first cases were reported. About 50 teams of the authority and of the health department are getting anti-larvae spraying done at all these places. Along with this, cleaning of parks, cleaning of drains is also being done to prevent breeding of mosquitoes.”

Appealing to the members of the RWA, the DMO said that they should not allow water to stagnate anywhere in their areas. If water has been stored, then clean it within a week, empty and refill it or put some kerosene in it to prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes that spread dengue.

He added that last year, 657 cases were recorded in Gautam Budh Nagar. So far this year,the figure has reached near 50.

Why can’t one find the correct figure?

In both Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad, the health department itself does not have the correct data. Since most people get treated in private hospitals, by the time the data reaches the health department, the patient recovers and gets discharged. This is the reason behind the inaccuracy in the data.

The health department remains unaware of this or perhaps it is negligence and lack of coordination between the private hospitals and the health department.

–IANS

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