The number of deaths caused by water-borne diseases, especially jaundice, has increased this year, according to data presented by the state health ministry on Tuesday.
Between April 2011 and March 2012, 16 deaths related to water-borne diseases were reported across the state. Between April 2012 and August 2012, 41 persons have died from water-borne diseases.
Water-borne diseases include gastroenteritis, diarrhoea, jaundice and cholera.
State health minister, Suresh Shetty, in a meeting with Zilla Parishad presidents and mayors of state districts at Sahyadri guest house, Malabar Hill, shared the data on Tuesday.
The meeting was held to discuss prevention and control strategies for water-borne and vector-borne diseases.
The number of deaths from vector-borne diseases, which include malaria and dengue, has seen a sharp fall. The number of malaria deaths in the state fell from 200 in 2010 to 118 last year.
State health officials said the spike in water-borne diseases his year is because of a spurt of jaundice cases at Ichalkaranji city, Kolhapur district, starting this May. More than 5,000 cases of jaundice and 27 of the 29 jaundice deaths were reported from the district, said health officials.
“There was a severe water shortage in this city. The water from Panchganga river, from which the city was getting its water supply, was polluted. Some local pipeline leakages also caused the spread of the disease,” said Dr Pradeep Awate, state epidemiologist, Directorate of Health Services.
As per a press release issued by the state health ministry, as per a decision taken at the meeting, the state will work towards reducing the number of vector-borne cases by 50% this year.