HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Admn yet to gear up to dealwith gastroenteritis outbreak

Vinay Dhingra, Hindustan Times  Pathankot, May 10, 2014
First Published: 20:29 IST(10/5/2014) | Last Updated: 20:33 IST(10/5/2014)

Though no major case of waterborne disease has been reported so far, the health officials have failed to take any concrete step like crackdown on ice factories, local ice candy manufacturers and eatery vendors to check its outbreak in the district.


At many places in the town such as Preet Nagar and Androon Bazar, sewage pipeline and potable water supply pipe move along and always pose high risk of the outbreak of gastroenteritis and jaundice that have claimed a few lives in the past years.

Dhar block, the semi hilly part of Punjab, where population density is over two lakh, always remains at high risk due to the contaminated sources of potable water supply.

In the area where residents have to fetch water from far-flung bawlis (natural water source), stomach upset is a common problem.

"It used to be a source of clean water earlier, but with the increase in population, the chances of water contamination are always there, and people are getting infected by this water,"claimed Dr Vijay Arora, former assistant civil surgeon.

"Most of the people here are illiterate and don't know how to clean water, which is a major reason of waterborne diseases in this part of the district,"he added.

"There are many villages where residents bring water from lakes of the Ranjit Sagar Dam, which is not at all safe for drinking purposes and needs treatment before consumption,"claimed Naresh Pathania, a Dhar block resident.

"Villages like Dher Skerni and Nava Pind, which are located at the higher reaches, fed by natural water resources and always remain at the high risk,"he added.

When asked about the preparedness to deal with waterborne diseases, Pathankot civil surgeon Dr GS Sodhi said so far no serious case, except routine cases, was reported at the civil hospital and it was the district health officer who had been attending state-level meetings to deal with the threats.

District health officer Dr Juagal Kishore also maintained that no serious case was observed in the district so far. When asked about any crackdown on ice factories or ice cream units, he said it would begin soon.

When asked if it was not a bit late as the ice cream units have started production, he it would be started soon and would continue till the end of monsoon.

·It's only during transit period when we drink water from any available source; to avoid this we must carry a water bottle along during summers
·Water tanks must be cleaned after every 15 days, as microorganism grow faster in held-up water
·Chlorination of water tanks is must if reverse osmosis (RO) system is not available at homes.










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