The monsoon is yet to intensify, but the Kochi Corporation’s slack sanitation drive has already put the district in the grip of fever.
Clogged drains have become breeding grounds for mosquitoes, the carriers of dangerous communicable diseases like dengue and chikungunya.
Till May 31, this year, 70,230 fever and 10,540 diarrhoea cases have been reported in the district. Dengue accounted for 191 cases, leptospirosis 75, malaria 18, hepatitis A 34, hepatitis B 30, hepatitis C four, hepatitis E two, typhoid 20, chikungunya four, chicken pox 283, mumps 62, and measles eight.
District Medical Officer Haseena Mohammed said a case of cholera had been reported from Kadungalloor panchayat. It had been confirmed that the person contracted it during a trip to Karnataka.
Two cases of H1N1 Influenza were detected during random sample checks. Ms. Mohammed said as viral fever was seasonal there was no way to prevent it, but it could be controlled. She claimed the situation was not out of hand and would not cause an epidemic.
“The cases are too scattered and not concentrated in clusters as it is during an outbreak,” the DMO said.
Dedicated wards for fever have been opened in all government hospitals right from the taluk level. Directions have also been given to put up mosquito nets in hospitals. The timings of Out-Patient sections in hospitals have been extended.
The district has been divided in to five zones — Kothamangalam and Muvattupuzha; Perumbavur; Aluva; Ernakulam; and Paravur — to carry out a dedicated and focussed drive against fever. Most number of cases of communicable diseases like dengue have been reported from city limits, Udayamperoor, Amballoor, and Thrikkakara.
Eastern regions of the district like Muvattupuzha and Kothamangalam have also reported such cases. Pineapple and rubber farms in these regions serve as easy breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
K.V. Beena, district project manager of National Rural Health Mission, said Rs.10,000 had been handed over to the ward-level health, sanitation, and nutrition committee, chaired by ward member or division councillor concerned, for the drive against fever.
ASHA workers are conducting house to house visits to spread awareness of the fever protocol to be followed and mosquito eradication measures to be taken.
“Controlling communicable diseases eventually boils down to maintaining environmental sanitation and proper waste management. Both these aspects cannot be ensured by a single agency. The need of the hour is a change in attitude at the individual level,” she said.