Staff Reporter

Deployment of field health workers for census work

Thiruvananthapuram: The government decision to deploy health sector field workers for census work and other works like the comprehensive health insurance scheme has come in for a lot of flak from senior health officials themselves.

“We have taken up the issue seriously at a time when a lot of work has to be done to ensure that no major disease outbreak occurs. The work carried out by health workers cannot be taken up by any other department staff. In one instance, 23 out of the 26 field staff in one area were asked to report for census and other work. After we refused to let our staff go, the numbers were brought down to 13,'' one of the officials said.

Following the intervention of the District Collector and the Health Secretary, a decision had now been taken to deploy only retired government employees for field work, sources said.

Meanwhile, seasonal flu and fever cases have been going up in the district with the beginning of the rainy season. However, there had been no alarming spread of dengue fever and the public need not panic that all fever cases could turn out to be dengue fever, the district health authorities said.

Over 375 dengue fever cases had been reported so far in the district.

“Fever cases have been showing a steady increase in many parts of the district and the coastal belt, but it is strictly a seasonal phenomenon. Every year in the pre-monsoon and post-monsoon season we see an increase in viral fever and respiratory infection cases, especially among children. Panic was created about the dengue spread in the Chettivilakam area in Kudappanakkunnu panchayat. But of the 84 fever cases that were reported from there, only eight tested positive for dengue,” a senior health official said.

Health officials expressed satisfaction that much of the pre-monsoon cleaning and vector control activities have been going according to schedule.