Hyderabad

Coronavirus | Fever health survey not up to the mark

Purpose not served: Many people were hiding the health status of their family members for fear of being ostracised.   | Photo Credit: RAMAKRISHNA G

A door-to-door survey by health workers to unearth fever cases, which concluded for the initial phase on Saturday, met with a stock reply from many respondents that everything was fine with them.

They were hiding health status of their family members who had taken ill for obvious reasons because they did not want to be ostracised in peer circles or their habitations in the midst of the pandemic.

What was launched as an ambitious programme ran contrary to expectations not only due to lukewarm response from public but official apathy. For instance, the survey lacked coordination between health department and field staff.

The programme was aimed to assess the number of people who were suffering with fevers, whether they had symptoms of COVID and, if so, whether they were in home isolation.

However, reports generated at the end of the day only spoke about how many houses were surveyed and how many people were checked for temperature.

Independent inquiry by the health department in the absence of proper responses in survey showed that many people who tested positive for COVID were not in home isolation.

The field staff blamed the Telangana government for inadequate preparations for the survey as they were not provided with masks, gloves or sanitisers. They were given oximeters to check the oxygen levels and pulse rate of public but the devices were hardly used as they had to be applied on multiple respondents that put themselves at the risk of contracting COVID.

The surveyors also did not heed to the instructions to collect blood samples.

An ASHA worker who did not want to be identified said the senior staff were nowhere near the houses surveyed for precautionary reasons. The job was left to ASHA, Anganwadi and auxilliary nursing midwives (ANMs) who are not regular government staff. She confessed that the reports were doctored.


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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 2:39:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/fever-health-survey-not-up-to-the-mark/article34522433.ece

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