RANCHI: Despite claims by the state health department regarding the steps taken to prevent outbreak of malaria and diarrhoea, people continue to fall prey to the disease in different parts of Jharkhand. Over a hundred people were suffering from diarrhoea which broke out in 24 villages of Hazaribag district last week. A couple of days back diarrhoea was reported from four blocks of Bokaro. The situation in the state capital is no better either. Worse still, several districts including the state capital have not yet purchased anti-diarrhoea medicines for which funds have been already released.
Ranchi Sadar Hospital is almost crammed with patients suffering from diarrhoea. Many of them are also suffering from malaria. The medicine ward of the state's largest hospital - Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS -- also bears a similar look with dozens of patients lying on the floor as all its 250 beds are occupied.
Instructions from National Rural Health Mission (Jharkhand) have been sent to civil surgeons in all 24 districts. NRHM director in chief (health services) Praveen Chandra said multi-point guidelines were issued to all civil surgeons well in advance. "It was a routine matter and the civil surgeons have been asked to follow the guidelines strictly and report regularly," said Chandra.
A civil surgeon seeking anonymity told TOI that giving instructions does not necessarily help. "The department is more generous in giving instructions than funds. And it does not help always," he added.
The department released funds for prevention and treatment of diarrhoea around 10 days back. "It takes time to place the order and the medicines to reach us. We have, however, done everything as per the guidelines and there is no epidemic in the district," said another senior district health official on condition of anonymity.
NRHM has a 'zero diarrhoea programme' to keep the disease at bay in the monsoon season. It clearly says that every district has to constitute a Rapid Response Team (RRT) to deal with the outbreak of epidemic. All blocks of a district have to constitute a special team under the RRT. The guidelines also include making available ORS powder in hospitals, primary health centres as well as anganwadis. Distribution of DDT and bleaching power, and spraying medicine in wells and drains is another part of the programme.
Though patients are suffering at all primary health centres and hospitals across the state civil surgeons will not buy it. "So far a total of 608 cases of diarrhoea have been reported. No death has taken place due to it, though," said Bokaro civil surgeon K N Tiwary. At one of the worst-hit Chas block hospitals, patients are not getting beds post admission because of the rush of patients, said a health official.
Jharkhand health and family welfare department principal secretary K Vidyasagar is in Delhi and was not available for comments. Deputy secretary Ehtesham-ul-Haq said, "Officials concerned have been directed to take necessary steps to deal with all seasonal diseases."
Ranchi civil surgeon A K Choudhary said there is no epidemic in the state capital. "Medicines will be procured soon," he said.
An official in the state sanitation department said a major portion of Jharkhand's population depends on well water for drinking. "Lack of safe drinking water is the main reason behind the outbreak of diarrhoea," he said. The number of patients suffering from other water-borne diseases like malaria is also growing at government hospitals.
RIMS medical superintendent S K Choudhary said this is an annual phenomenon.
For updates you can share with your friends, follow JHnews.co.in on facebookNews Source: toi Jharkhand: 2012-08-07