Forget filaria, it?s time to sleep | india | Hindustan Times
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Forget filaria, it?s time to sleep

WHEN DOCTORS reached Harduiya village in Gangaganj development block at 9 pm, closed doors and reluctance greeted them. The place is just 30 km from the city.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2006 00:57 IST

WHEN DOCTORS reached Harduiya village in Gangaganj development block at 9 pm, closed doors and reluctance greeted them. The place is just 30 km from the city.

Though anxious eyes peeped out of windows, they were unwilling to leave cozy huts, even for their own benefit. Villagers preferred to sleep instead of participating in ‘night blood sampling’ to get their microfilaria level checked.

The Health Department is conducting sampling of blood as part of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) programme against filaria, scheduled on January 8. The level recorded this year would be monitored in three replicates in consecutive years.

Doctors knocked on the doors but no one came out. In a village of at least 400 houses, not a single door was opened. This when most knew about the effects of filaria.

“My husband is sleeping. Come in the morning”. This was the reply filaria inspector RK Upadhaya requested for blood sample.

“Why have you come at night?” commented an elderly woman even before Vijay Pal could explain that only night blood sampling could show the microfilaria level.

It was not just Harduiya, but even at Tudia village the team had the same experience. In fact, all team members on Mission Night Blood Sampling had a similar story to tell.

“Convincing people for microfilaria tests and that too at night is a tough task and risky too. Sometimes we are chased away and often we stand under open sky explaining the reason behind night sampling,” said Dr SA Siddiqui, Filaria biologist.

The team reached Harduiya at 9 pm but they could not take single sample until the village pradhan’s husband turned up at 10 pm. However, he only managed to get people of his caste.

“It’s for their own benefit. But even if someone from the upper caste asked them to come out they will not do so,” said Sanjay Kumar, husband of pradhan Taradevi. However, he managed to gather 50 people. This satisfied the team and they left the village at mid-night to submit the collected blood samples.

“We wanted to take maximum samples, but adverse climatic conditions proved a deterrent. Had this programme been conducted during summer the response could have been better,” said district malaria officer, Dr AK Singh.