Two more toddlers succumbed to malaria in Jharkhand even as the state continued to face shortage of malaria fighters and WHO-recommended medicated nets from the centre, state malaria officer Pushpa Maria Bek said on Wednesday.
The medicated nets, which are laced with anti- insect repellents, are provided by the Centre but the state stock hasn’t been replenished for the past three years, she said. Bek said that the state was short of 1475 malaria fighters, called contractual multi-purpose workers (MPW), who are responsible for mosquito repellants, DDT and bleaching powder spray in the rural areas. “We will complete the recruitments,” she said.
At least 25 malaria outbreaks have been reported in the state this year from Gopikandar, Ramgarh, Masalia and Kathikund villages of the Santhal Pargana, health officials said.
They said the malaria outbreak has, however, taken five lives in the state during the past 10 days, including that of the two toddlers in Santhal Pargana division on Tuesday, officials said.
The toddlers have been identified as Babuchand (4), who died of malaria at Sundarpaharia health centre in Godda district and Anu Tuddu,5, who succumbed to cerebral malaria at Sahibganj district hospital, they said.
Bek said the state had set aside `10 crore to procure the medicated nets but they couldn’t be purchased for want of the centre’s permission, as malaria control is being carried out by it under the Centre’s National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP).
She said the last supply of 6.07 lakh nets came in 2011-2012. But, now most of the nets were unfit for use, according to a 2014 report .
A NVBDCP official attributed the delay to the Centre’s policy of making procurements through tenders for all the states in one go.
According to official figures, at least 47,828 cases of malaria have been reported in the state till August 2015. Out of them, about 23145 have been the cases of cerebral malaria.
Suspected dengue cases
Five suspected cases of dengue were referred to the Rajendra Insitute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) by a sadar hospital in Pakur district on Wednesday, health officials. They belong to the same family.
Tests at RIMS will confirm whether they are suffering with dengue, said sadar hospital dengue ward-in-charge SK Jha.
The patients have been identified as Janihar Bibi, Mominur Khatoon, Vahida Bibi, Yusuf and Mumtaz Bibi. They were diagnosed with dengue-like symptoms by the Bhagalpur Medical College and Hospital in Bihar.