Calls for public cooperation to eradicate the disease

Carrying the message not to panic regarding dengue, State Health and Family Welfare Department Secretary J. Radhakrishnan conveyed to the common man that the disease could be prevented and overcome with ease by adopting simple methods in their daily lives.

The need of the hour is an inter-sectoral approach, keeping the surroundings clean and dry along with emphasis on public hygiene.

“Whether you live in a posh locality or in a hamlet, it does not matter much. Carelessness in upkeep may attract mosquitoes. It could even turn into a breeding spot…Not that it could not be stopped. We can do it. With your cooperation, dengue can be conquered,” he told the villagers of Therkutheru, near Melur here on Friday.

Accompanied by Collector Anshul Mishra, Indian Medicine and Homeopathy Commissioner T. N. Ramanathan, Director (Public Health) R. T. Porkai Pandian, Director Medical Education C. Vamsadhara and others, he visited Therkutheru Primary Health Centre, A. Vallalapatti village and the Melur Government Hospital.

The doctors at the Therkutheru PHC explained the functioning of the centre, the number of fever cases recorded and the availability of drugs.

Homeopathy medicines were also kept available for distribution to the needy, he was informed.

Later, Dr. Radhakrishnan went around the adjacent hamlets and interacted with the womenfolk.

At some places, he explained the consequences of allowing water to be stagnant and sought the cooperation of the people in removing these instantly.

Therkutheru panchayat president Namasivayam was told to regularly interact with the locals and the field staff at the Health Department were instructed to keep a close vigil whenever there were reports of abnormal rise in fever cases from any specific colony.

Good improvement

Speaking to reporters, the Health Secretary said that the State government had taken a series of steps including awareness programmes on dengue, mass cleaning, fogging and source reduction. This had a good impact and there was a marked improvement with the number of cases dropping in the last three weeks. Appreciating the efforts of Mr. Anshul Mishra and his team for the good work done during the last four weeks, he noted that the epidemic had been well contained now.

Across the State, about six to seven districts have reported dengue cases, he replied to a pointed query and said there were 54 deaths, which included 14 from Madurai district.

As on date, there were 47 positive cases of dengue and treatment was underway at the Government Rajaji Hospital.

Asked about the dispute between the private and government doctors on the test methodology carried out for dengue, Dr. Radhakrishnan categorically said that the State government has been following the Elisa test as the rapid test procedure gave false inference. Further, there are 60 centres (earlier there were 30) across the State to carry out the cell tests. There was absolutely no shortage of funds or trained staffs and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had already earmarked sufficient funds for dengue management, he responded to another query.

Compensation

Former Director Public Health S. Elango, who is now the president of Indian Public Health Association in a press release, said that the Tamil Nadu government can consider giving some compensation to the families of dengue victims, especially, for those under 15-years as the children may not have been covered under any scheme. In the wake of an epidemic, a monetary relief to the bereaved family members could be given a thought on the lines of accident insurance scheme, he added.

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