A large number of dengue cases were reported from the district this season, and it was shocking that the district health department least bothered to take measures for preventing the disease from spreading, with all means available.
More than 1,032 cases were found to be positive from the district this year. Apart from this, 489 patients admitted to the city hospitals were from other districts and 143 from other states.
As per information gathered under RTI, despite having 12 fogging machines, the district health department didn't use them at all.
Council of RTI activists sought some information from the civil surgeon's office on dengue. As per the reply given by the district health officer, department had 12 fogging machines, but no fogging was done by the office between the time period of January 1, 2013 to September 30, 2013.
Municipal corporation did fogging, but only within the MC limits, and the outer limits of the city remained untouched and many cases of dengue were reported from these areas. Thus, department had spent nil on fogging in the district.
Moreover, out of the eight dengue kits given to the department, only six were used by the end of September, as per the information provided in RTI.
With one dengue kit, 95 patients could be tested for dengue. President of the Council of RTI Activists, Rohit Sabharwal, and secretary Arvind Sharma said this information made it clear that department was not serious enough to make efforts against spreading of the disease.
Secretary Arvind Sharma said in the information sought earlier, "The department received `49,000 to be spent on creating awareness on dengue among population of more than 35 lakh, but out of that also department spent only `41,000. It shows the lackadaisical attitude on the part of the department.
Giving clarification on the issue, district epidemiologist Dr Anil Verma, said, "The details given in the RTI were only till September. But usually more cases of dengue come up in the month of October and November every year. The usage of dengue kits depends upon the number of patients. The department has received 31 dengue kits and 29.5 have been utilised till date."
"Secondly, if there is an outbreak (if more than 10 cases are reported in the street or mohalla), then only fogging is done in that area. Fogging machines have to be used in the house of the dengue patients and the adjoining areas. During fogging, pyrethrum is sprayed destroying the aedes agypti mosquito, which causes dengue. The department has 12 fogging machines, but as no outbreak was, reported so fogging machines were not used," Verma said.