Deputy Commissioner B. Shivappa had a tough time in answering a volley of questions by presspersons on the reasons for the number of deaths that have occurred in several villages of Hospet taluk following the outbreak of malaria.
He admitted that malaria had broken out in several villages coming under Gadiganur Primary Health Centre (PHC). In the same breath, he said that the number of deaths due to malaria was only eight and the other deaths were due to various other reasons.
In fact, 30 deaths have occurred in Gadiganur, Bhuvanahalli, (which have witnessed more deaths), Dharmasagar, Kakabalu, Kotaginahal among the 10 affected villages since October 18.
Stating that he had been constantly monitoring the situation and getting regular feedback from the health authorities, Mr. Shivappa said that malaria was brought under control after precautionary measures were taken in the affected villages, including regular health check-up and blood tests.
Doctors, along with health workers, had been posted in each of the affected villages in addition to teams of doctors, comprising senior doctors from VIMS, regularly going door-to-door to examine the families.
As for the cause of deaths of other people (other than eight who died of malaria) reported in these villages, he said that it was due to age in a few cases and diseases, including respiratory, cardiac, renal failure, in the other.
When presspersons pointed out that all those who died, according to their family members, were suffering from fever a week earlier and had got treatment at the local private/government hospitals, Mr. Shivappa said, “We are all governed by the medical report”.
Mr. Shivappa appeared to be in a fix when presspersons sought to know on what basis the district administration had given Rs. 1 lakh compensation, out of the funds from the Bellary Agenda Task Force (BATF), to 18 families of the bereaved when only eight deaths had occurred due to malaria.