Official data collected on the dengue menace in the district, from January to October, has revealed that above 50 per cent of the total dengue cases were reported from urban areas. Of the 76 confirmed cases in the district, 34 have been reported within Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) limits.

Five cases have been reported in small towns: two in Navalgund and one each in Annigeri, Kalghatagi and Kundagol. The number of dengue cases has significantly increased in the district, from 22 in 2011 to 76 as of October 2012. Official sources told The Hindu that cities faced the bigger risk due to the bad shape of the public urban health service. Public health services in rural areas have improved considerably, thanks to National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). Majority of the victims are slum-dwellers. This demands improvement of urban health services, they said.

The bad shape of HDMC’s health section reflects their concerns. HDMC could engage only 12 auxiliary nursing midwives (ANMs) to educate the 10-lakh strong population here, the officials said.

HDMC health officer Prabhu Biradar said that there was no specific treatment for dengue. Taking up extensive source reduction measures would help contain it.

Dr. Biradar added that the shortage of staff was a problem. Of the 30 ANMs, 18 are on hospital duty and others on field duty. As per norms, one ANM is appointed per 5,000 persons. This means that HDMC should have a minimum of 200 ANMs. “Our efforts to engage retired employees did not succeed. Now, we are planning to hire 30 nurses on contract basis,” Dr. Biradar added.

  • Public health services in rural areas have improved owing to NRHM

  • Extensive source reduction measures can help contain dengue: HDMC health officer