Staff Reporter

Twelve special medical teams to be deployed in affected areas to bring the situation under control: Naveen

Inhabitants of various villages have been put on tetracycline course

Health Secretary Chinmay Basu reviews situation

BERHAMPUR: The Official death roll due to gastroenteritis rose to 49 in Kasipur block of Rayagada district, with four more deaths being reported on Saturday.

The alarming situation in the block prompted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to intervene and declare in Bhubaneswar that 12 special medical teams would be sent to the affected areas to bring the situation under control.

Minister Surendra Nayak visited the affected areas in the block on Saturday and assured the people that all possible measures would be taken to check the spread of the disease.

Medical and health officials are focussing on tribal villages like Kadapadar, Sanamatikana, Lathipadar, Hadiguda, where recurrence of gastro cases is high. Inhabitants are being administered tetracycline course to increase their immunity against the infection.

The community feasts that are organised in memory of those who died of the disease are posing a problem. New cases are being reported after consuming contaminated food served at these feasts, says Ranjan Sharma, Additional District Magistrate of Rayagada.

Doctors’ shortage

KORAPUT: “Give me a doctor and I will appoint him with a pay package of Rs. 25,000 per month to serve in your district,” says Chinmay Basu, Health Secretary.

Speaking to The Hindu here before leaving for Dasamantapur to review the health situation on Saturday, Mr. Basu said there was an acute shortage of doctors in the State.

The vacancies in Koraput and other regions could have been filled had doctors appointed for the region joined duty rather than confining themselves to developed cities like Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, he said.

Call to people

Referring to diarrhoeal deaths at Kasipur in Rayagada district and Dasamantapur block in Koraput district, he said that people should come out of their houses and take the assistance of available medical assistance.

While complimenting a pharmacist who successfully treated over 200 patients suffering from the disease at Kucheipadar in Kasipur block, he wished people approached at least a health worker at a nearby place instead of waiting for doctors.

Quoting the medical team from MKCG, Berhampur, he said that the cholera stain found in the region was the most commonly found strains out of the 139 varieties that caused the disease in the country. This was largely because of consumption of infected water and nothing related to spurious food, he added. There were no institutional deaths due to infection in Kasipur and the number of children affected was less, he said.

Medicines were being provided in government hospitals only after checking their quality under the Good Manufacture Practices (GMP) certification. Hence, people should have confidence on them, he added.

In total, some 290 varieties of essential medicines were being supplied free of cost through government hospitals in the State by spending Rs. 30 crores, the Health Secretary said.

With medical teams reaching the affected places, he hoped that the situation would soon be brought under control.

Medical camps

Medical camps were also organised in the highest affected areas of Chikambo, Murkar and Chanabado panchayats of Dasamantapur block, Koraput district Collector Balakrushna Sahu said. The death roll in the block was put at 20.

However, with more places in Pindhapadar, Bedapadar, Duarsuni, Lula, Girligumma, Podagad, Mujang, Gadiaguda and Paikphulbeda panchayat getting affected, unofficial sources put the toll at more than 70.