BHUBANESWAR:Communicable and vector-borne diseases continue to plague Odisha which has been unable to control their outbreak despite spending crores of rupees under different programmes every year.
Tall claims of preventive measures and strong awareness campaigns notwithstanding, Odisha has emerged as a hub for vector-borne diseases. All this in spite of the fact that the State Government receives huge financial support from the Centre to tackle the public health disorders.
In the last two years, the State spent over Rs 43 crore sanctioned under National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme. And what has been the outcome? The State reported a whopping 6,433 dengue cases in 2014, second only to Maharashtra which had recorded 8,425 cases.
Similarly, the State is right at the top when it comes to malaria incidence in the country. With 3.88 lakh cases, Odisha accounted for a third of the total malaria cases reported in India last year. If that is not enough, Japanese Encephalitis has been spreading not only in tribal districts but also in coastal pockets of the State where it has claimed several lives.
If incidence of vector-borne diseases continues to pour in, communicable diseases are not far away. While jaundice played havoc in Sambalpur and Cuttack last year, it continues to raise its ugly head in different parts of the State contrary to the Government’s claims that things are under control. Fresh cases have been reported in Khurda district last week.
Plagued by inadequate health infrastructure and lack of personnel, the State has been at its wit’s end to contain the outbreak of diarrhoea. In fact, the deadly cholera was reported from Mahakalpada block of Kendrapara district on Saturday. During monsoon, the killer water-borne disease spreads its tentacles in southern Odisha districts of Rayagada and Koraput apart from Kalahandi.
Similarly, the Government has not been able to make any dent in controlling tuberculosis, another communicable disease. Available statistics show that Odisha reported at least 23,520 cases of TB during the two quarters of 2014. The disease had claimed over 2,410 lives in 2012. Under the Revised National TB Control Programme, the State spent close to Rs 20 crore in the last two years.
Leprosy, which is claimed to have been eliminated, continues to be detected in the State. The State recorded over 4900 cases upto 2014-15. It spent over Rs 4 crore under the National Leprosy Elimination Programme during 2013-14 and 2014-15.