Mumbai sees spurt in dengue cases over 5 years, reveals BMC data | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Mumbai sees spurt in dengue cases over 5 years, reveals BMC data

NGO Praja Foundation, which accessed the data under the Right to Information from 167 municipal dispensaries, 26 municipal hospitals and five state-run hospitals of Mumbai for financial years starting April 2011 to March 2016, said the absence of a centralised database to record cases reported across private and government-run hospitals, the figures made available by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), could represent cases only among 30% of the city’s population that visits municipal hospitals.

mumbai Updated: Oct 04, 2016 00:25 IST
Sadaguru Pandit
Mumbai
Mumbai, India - 8 Nov. 2014: Fumigation is done in the Locality of Andheri in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, November 8, 2014. . (Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times)(Hindustan Times)

The number of dengue cases has grown from 1,879 in 2011-12 to 15,244 in 2015-2016, while dengue deaths have almost doubled over the past five years — from 62 in 2011-12 to 124 in 2015-16, showed data on the spread and mortality of vector-borne and other diseases for the past five years, released by the 24 municipal wards.

NGO Praja Foundation, which accessed the data under the Right to Information from 167 municipal dispensaries, 26 municipal hospitals and five state-run hospitals of Mumbai for financial years starting April 2011 to March 2016, said the absence of a centralised database to record cases reported across private and government-run hospitals, the figures made available by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), could represent cases only among 30% of the city’s population that visits municipal hospitals.

Read: 12 dengue patients in Mumbai show signs of chikungunya

Milind Mhaske from Praja Foundation said, “We had to approach every ward to collect data on deaths and the number of patients. After we created a singular database based on the information we collected, it was easy to locate target areas that needed improvement, based on age group, locality, sex and specific period of the year.”

The BMC’s health department officials are not making any such efforts to eradicate the issues of vector-borne or zoonotic diseases, said Mhaske.

As dengue wreaks havoc in the city, with a steady increase in the number of patients, the data revealed five wards — A, K/E, N, R/N and S — have witnessed more than 100 cases of dengue each during April 2015 to March 2016. The data reveals how some wards have failed to control the steady increase in infections, said the Foundation.

The data also highlighted the most vulnerable age groups, based on mortality data, compiled with the help of death certificates, issued by the 24 civic wards. Of the total dengue deaths from April 2011 to December 2015, two major age groups, identified as per the details were 0-4 years and 20-39 years. These two age groups comprised 55% of the total dengue deaths. According to the data, dengue claimed 476 lives during the same period.

“The BMC needs to look into the matter seriously as the information pinpoints the exact areas to work on. Sadly, no such segmentation of available information is done. We have approached the officials to offer them the white paper, but they termed the information false,” said Mhaske.

A senior microbiologist from a civic hospital said that such data is important to study the trend of the virus, on the basis of virulence and mutations in the different strains of a particular virus. “Virus is also an organism, which develops to adapt to a certain condition and has its own set of defence mechanism. Over a period of time, the mutations make it resistant against drugs and newer symptoms develop among patients. Civic officials need to look into the matter seriously to be better prepared,” he said.

Despite repeated attempts, Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer, BMC and IS Kundan, additional municipal commissioner (health) were unavailable for comment.

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