Staff Correspondent

Six doctors to be trained on dealing with silicosis, a respiratory problem

Collection of data regarding people affected under way, says health official

BELLARY: The Department of Health and Family Welfare will conduct a study on the impact of dust pollution on public health in Sandur, Bellary district. Its residents have been facing health problems on account of the rapid mining and transportation of iron ore.

Tarsalappa, District Health Officer, told presspersons on Friday that to start with, six doctors from primary healthcare centres in Sandur taluk, one of the two major sectors where mining is being conducted in the district, have been deputed to undergo a week-long training session at Bangalore, on silicosis, an affliction pertaining to the respiratory system.

In addition, health workers had also been instructed to collect data about people suffering from respiratory problems, during their door-to-door visits, he added. The initiative has come in the wake of concern expressed by people over the health hazards caused by dust pollution. Mr. Tarsalappa said the six primary healthcare centres in Sandur taluk recorded that four percent of the people exposed to dust pollution, and come with complaints of breathing difficulty, allergic bronchitis and asthma, were aged nearly 35.

He said these six primary healthcare centres had been equipped with X-ray machines, laboratories and other facilities required to conduct tests for purposes of the study.

To a question, he said silicosis was a respiratory problem caused by dust mixed with iron and sand content, which after some time settled at the bottom of the lungs. “Collection of data is already on and follow-up work will commence immediately after the trained doctors arrive and resume their duties,” he added.

He said that based on the outcome of the study in Sandur taluk, he would write to the Government requesting it to take up a detailed study of the impact of dust pollution on public health all over the district, with stress on villages, towns and cities near mining areas as well as those near main roads where the movement of vehicular traffic transporting iron ore was heavy.