District health authorities are gearing up to launch Sraddha-2013, a one-month intensive drive to combat leptospirosis, in association with the three-tier local bodies in Wayanad district.

Speaking after inaugurating a workshop on leptospirosis organised by the Health Department in association with the Wayanad Press Club for presspersons here on Wednesday, District Medical Officer S. Sameera said the district had been identified as a high-risk area as the number of leptospirosis case had been on the increase for the past six years. As many as 97 leptospirosis cases had been reported and six persons, including one tribesman, died of the disease in the district in 2007 as against 226 cases and the death of eight persons (two tribesmen among them) in 2012, V. Jithesh, district surveillance officer, said.

As many as 58 leptospirosis cases had been reported so far this year and seven people, including five tribesmen, dies, he said.

Hence the department decided to launch a massive drive titled Sraddha-2003 from August 1 to 31 to combat the zoonotic disease, Mr. Jithesh said. The project would be executed in three phases and in the first phase, the department would organise a workshop on July 31 for the presidents of the three-tier local bodies and a training programme for health workers.

Special meeting would be convened in each grama panchayat and ward-level health and sanitation committees would be constituted under the leadership of ward members in the second phase.

Dr. Sameera said a team of special volunteers would also be constituted to assist health workers in the drive.

The second phase would be concluded by the first week of August.

In the third phase, the volunteers and health workers would held house visits and disburse pamphlets on leptospirosis to sensitise the public to the issue.

They would also disburse Broma Diolome, a rat poison, to control rodent population.

Apart from this, special awareness programmes would be organised for target groups, including farmers, dairy farmers, and workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, under health sub-centres in each locality. V.K. Mini, Deputy DMO, and K.S. Ajayan, junior administrative officer, also attended the workshop.