A total of 27 cases of diarrhoea, including 26 at the Communicable Diseases Hospital (CDH) in Tondiarpet, were reported to the Chennai Corporation on Thursday.
However, a systematic compilation of diarrhoea cases in the city has not been conducted. Many private hospitals are reporting fresh cases. One hospital in Chetpet, for instance, reported at least five new cases on Wednesday and Thursday. The Corporation is required to monitor diseases reported in all private hospitals located in the city limits.
“I took an old woman on Wednesday at 9.30 a.m. to a private hospital in Chetpet. The family members said that they were scared to go to Government Kilpauk Hospital and asked me to take them to the nearest private hospital,” said Johnson, an auto driver who assisted the patient. A private practitioner in the area said he has been treating 20 patients every day for the past week for diarrhoea. The old woman was one such patient. “When they are very serious and dehydrated, I send them for admission to a hospital. If they require only drips, then I administer them in my clinic,” the doctor said.
Despite claims by Chennai Corporation, a visit to the area revealed that fly infestation is very high. One resident, however, said that a health camp was conducted in Ossankulam and Bhoobathy Nagar. Residents said that while initially, Corporation officials were present in large numbers in New Bhoobathy Nagar and Ossankulam, they were nowhere to be seen over the past three days.
The entrance of a slum board apartment complex in the area is a pool of stagnant sewage. Intermittent showers only add to the misery of the residents. According to Santhini, a resident, even senior officials visited the area last week. “We were told that the sewage line is blocked. We have had this problem for the past year. The only solution is to break open the pipeline they say but they have done nothing,” she added.
Although Corporation has pasted awareness pamphlets in the entrance to several houses sanitation remains poor. Several children and youngsters have returned in the past few days from KMCH and the CDH but despite being cured of diarrhoea, continue to live in poor sanitary conditions. A total of 14 patients were discharged from KMCH and 26 from CDH.
“Chennai Corporation, in association with Metrowater and Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board, has launched a drive to control diarrhoea on a war footing. The Chennai Corporation will procure additional equipment in seven zones and get more employees in a week,” said Minister for Municipal Administration K.P.Munusamy.
Keywords: Diarrhoea cases