Few days back, a girl living in Bangalore came to Bhopal along with her husband to see her mother, who had been diagnosed with dengue and was undergoing treatment at a hospital in Kolar here. After spending just two days, the couple was diagnosed with dengue.
For the last few weeks, Kolar has become the epicentre of dengue outbreak in Bhopal. After the first dengue case was reported in Bhopal on June 3, the dengue has been spreading in the city. Initially, the cases were reported from TT Nagar, but for the last few weeks, most of the cases are coming from Kolar area.
According to district health officials, total number of people diagnosed with the virus in the city has gone up to around 135 with Kolar alone registering over 30 cases. Two people have died due to dengue in Bhopal since its outbreak in June.
The district administration, especially the malaria wing and Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC), have failed to check its spread, mainly in Kolar area. Observers say if the authorities cannot check its spread in Bhopal, where health authorities have both infrastructure and manpower at their disposal, one can well understand the fate of other parts of the state, which are mostly away from the focus of the senior government functionaries and media glare.
Bhopal district malaria officer Dr KB Bajpeyi said dengue was spreading in Kolar because of insanitation and water problems. "Kolar doesn’t have proper water supply. People either buy water or get it from groundwater. There is deficient water management including improper water storage practices in Kolar. And because of this reason, they don’t want to waste water in any way. Besides, we had asked for manpower from Kolar municipal council for joint efforts in combating the dengue outbreak. But they didn’t come forward," he claimed.
Asked why authorities have failed to launch a major awareness campaign, Dr Bajpeyi said malaria wing with limited resources and manpower cannot check the spread of dengue in a city of 19 lakh people on its own.
"It has to be a joint effort of the BMC, health department, media and citizens of this city. Then only we can check its spread," he claimed.
However, health experts said as there was no specific anti-viral drug or vaccine against dengue infection, its spread and mortality could only be minimised by early diagnosis, a strategic action plan for prevention and control, regular monitoring, awareness drives and ensuring proper sanitation in the city.
The fact remains that authorities have failed to eliminate mosquito breeding sources like avoidance of water collection in and around houses, removal of all discarded and disposed/junk materials, stagnated water in drains and other depressions, overhead tanks, underground tanks, tyres, desert coolers, pitchers and so on.