AN OUTBREAK of the deadliest variety of malaria – plasmodium falciparum — is creating havoc in the State even as Health Minister Ajay Vishnoi on Thursday claimed a 21 percent decrease in its cases.
Notwithstanding the government’s claim, falciparum malaria continues to stalk the State. In Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC) alone, 20 patients of the dreaded decease were referred from different parts of the State in the past one month. Several of them are struggling with life.
Neeraj Tiwari, a sarpanch from Madiya village in Vidisha district, is one of them. His family has already spent more than Rs 5 lakh on his treatment so far. His brother Vinay Tiwari said the patient was rushed to BMHRC when his condition did not improve even after 15 rounds of dialysis and a bill of Rs 3 lakh at a private hospital.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh had visited ailing Neeraj at the hospital but that proved no help as doctors did not tell the family the real condition of the patient.
Harried relatives of a critically ill young woman Sarita had to spend about Rs 25000 on the first day of her hospitalisation at BMHRC. Total expense on her treatment has crossed Rs 2.5 lakh. She has survived as she was referred to the BMHRC on time from a private nursing home.
A BJP worker’s young sister was rushed to the Shivam Hospital after her condition deteriorated at the JP Hospital. Private doctors admit the mortality rate due to falciparum malaria is alarming. Lack of awareness among patients and their relatives, delay in treatment, wrong diagnosis and inadequate treatment facilities are some of the factors that have contributed to its spread.
However, Health Commissioner Dr Rajesh Rajora claimed on Tuesday decline in cases of falciparum. Two days later, the Health Minister made a similar claim .
“Treatment facilities for the patients suffering from fever are available in over 10,000 health centres in the State,” an official press release on Thursday quoted the minister.
But State BJP doctors cell president Dr Hitesh Bajpai contested the minister’s claim. “The health minister was misled by the officials.
He should intervene in the matter immediately to improve the situation,” Bajpai told Hindustan Times. He said falciparum malaria epidemic has spread to other parts of the State from Betul, Sidhi, Satna and Rewa, the districts usually struck by the disease.
Dr Bajpai said the disease has claimed lives. Bhopal District Chief Medical and Health Officer (CMHO) Dr BS Ohri denied there was any alarming rise in the falciparum malaria cases in the district. Joint director Health JC Paliwal, however, said only five to seven deaths due to falciparum have been reported from the entire State.