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Spotlight- Andhra Pradesh

Taking the sting out of malaria threat

The Health Department is planning to come up with an action-plan to tackle the mosquito menace this year; fever cases are under control, say officials

March 24, 2023 09:18 am | Updated 12:37 pm IST - PADERU

Patients thronging the out-patient block of King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam. File

Patients thronging the out-patient block of King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam. File | Photo Credit: V. Raju

The Medical and Health Department had recently conducted a fever survey in Alluri Sitarama Raju (ASR) district after many cases of sickness were reported in the region. The survey was also prompted by cases of H3N2 being reported in some parts of the country.

According to the officials, four fever cases were reported from Sileru Primary Health Centre (PHC), three from Minumuluru PHC, five from Ananthagiri PHC, and eight from Bheemavaram PHC in Ananthagiri mandal.

Swab samples were collected from all of the fever cases. Only one of these persons, from Sileru PHC, turned out to be suffering from dengue while all of the others were suffering from seasonal flu.

No traces of H3N2 were reported.

In the wake of recent spells of rain, Medical and Health Department officials were put on alert over a possible rise in fever cases. A meeting was organised at the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) office on Tuesday, where authorities were told keep an eye out for any rise in seasonal diseases.

ITDA Project Officer, Paderu, R. Gopala Krishna said that they are well-prepared to tackle any rise in seasonal diseases. “We have an adequate stock of medicines and testing kits at all PHCs. There is no shortage of doctors at hospitals except for the Community Health Centre (CHC) in Munchingputtu, where we are short of a senior doctor,” Mr. Gopala Krishna said.

“In view of the daily showers, we have asked the Health officials to organise ‘dry-day’ twice a week on Tuesday and Friday. Awareness drives will be held on these days to drive home the message of keeping one’s surroundings clean and ensure there are no breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Through the family physician concept, we will be keeping a close watch on the health of people,” Mr. Gopala Krishna said.

However, the main problem arises from mid April, as cases of malaria generally start to trickle in from the tribal habitations at this time. Agency areas in ASR district report the most number of malaria cases compared to other districts in the State.

In 2022, over 1,000 malaria cases were reported from the Agency. Officials said an action plan would be drawn up to tackle the malaria threat this year.

“Before the start of the malaria season, we will take up several rounds of fogging and spraying operations in the villages to eliminate breeding grounds of mosquitoes. The first spraying operation will began in the first week of April,” Mr. Gopala Krishna said.

The Project Officer added that like every other year, they will distribute mosquito nets to the tribals.

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