Malaria cases increase as health dept, officials fight over salary

  • Anbwesh Roy Choudhury, Hindustan Times, Ranchi
  • Updated: Jul 07, 2015 10:46 IST

Malaria officials told Hindustan Times on Monday that they needed funds to tackle the disease and pay the officials who are working without salary since March.

However, the health officials scoffed at the malaria department’s allegations, saying the salary structure they had sent contained many discrepancies.

A malaria officer requesting anonymity said, “We are demotivated, as the state submitted a wrong budget to the Centre. It is their fault that the salary has been stalled.”

The budget for fogging, distributing medicated nets, awareness drives and for payment of contractual workers was cut short because of a row between the state and the Centre over release of funds, he added.

But director-in-chief of state health services Dr Sumant Mishra cast off the allegations, saying, “There are discrepancies and frauds in their quoted salary structures. A probe into it is underway. They are trying to manipulate things.”

Dr Mishra said, “The officials tried to ‘twitch’ the budget reports to get higher pay-scale. They sent a part report (an additional report to a main report to get budgets approved) and there were mistakes in it.”

Ranchi district malaria officer Anil Kumar Jungbhadur said, “Stagnant rain water gives ample time for breeding and transmission and the mosquito larvae get ample water to breed during the monsoon.”

Out of 1,03,735 malaria cases the state tackled last year, 46,448 were cerebral and eight people died.

Dr Mishra said, “There is no dearth of funds and it is being sanctioned in phases. The malaria control programme was being effectively implemented in the state.”

According to a report of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) the number of malaria cases increased from 10,647 in March to 21,489 in June.

Out of 24 districts of the state, 18 are malaria prone and out of 21,489, 9,631 were virulent cerebral malaria cases.

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