District Health and Family Welfare Officer Shivaraj Sajjanshetty said there were 13 confirmed dengue cases reported in and around the city since July.

Speaking to The Hindu here on Wednesday, Dr. Sajjanshetty said the water-logged roads and other places in the city, because of incessant rain in July and first week of August, have become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. He said all the 13 patients were responding to treatment.

Meanwhile, there has been a sharp fall in the incidence of malaria in the district. As against the 628 cases reported last year, only 251 cases of malaria were reported in the district this year.

Dr. Sajjanshetty attributed this to the change in treatment procedures and increased surveillance in identified hotspots.

The ASHA workers have been supplied with rapid diagnostic kits that enable early detection and treatment of malaria. Besides, he said fishlings have been released to 2,500 permanent water bodies to eradicate mosquitoes.

Posts vacant

To a question, Dr. Sajjanshetty said 45 per cent of the posts of medical officers were vacant.

Also, there was a very high percentage of vacancy of specialist doctors.

Of the 266 sanctioned posts of doctors in government hospitals in the district, only 146 were filled. Similarly, of the total sanctioned posts of 93 specialists, only 24 were working and 69 were vacant. There was also 30 per cent vacancy of paramedics in the district, he said.

Dr. Sajjanshetty said the government has given its sanction to establish a 100-bed maternity and child health hospital in the now abandoned Government Leprosy Reconstruction and Protection Centre in the outskirts of the city. A proposal to release Rs. 3.5 crore for the hospital has been submitted to the government, he added.

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