RAYAGADA: The report of Health Department of Rayagada district administration on malaria death for 2011-2015 belies the ground reality. While the report submitted to the Government claims that the toll due to the disease has been steadily declining, unofficial sources put a contradictory picture.
According to the report, malaria claimed 10 lives out of 68,791 positive cases in 2015. But, unofficial reports put the toll at more than 100.
In 2011, the total fever cases were 2,70,440, the report stated. Of those, 55,541 tested positive for malaria and 11 succumbed to the disease.
Similarly in 2012, out of 2,95,881 fever cases, 52,117 cases were found positive. However, there was a decline in deaths with just eight reported during the year. The figures showed a decline in 2013. Of the total 2,42,729 fever cases, 31,514 persons were found to be positive and two deaths were reported.
The deaths though increased in 2014. Out of 41,745 positive reports from 2,90,246 fever cases, casualty was put at more than two.
Rayagada is one of the highly malaria prone districts in the State. Out of the total 11 blocks Gudari, Chandarapur, Muniguda, Bissamcuttack and Rayagada are the worst affected.
According to sources, the main reason behind spread of malaria has been found to be delay in replenishing insecticide-treated Long Lasting Nets among the population in the endemic areas of the district. Besides, callous attitude of health departments in taking steps to combat malaria and delay in conducting sensitisation programme at regular intervals are other reasons for the malaria cases.
According an NGO, Shradha, which is working in the affected blocks, the deaths are highly under-reported. One of the directors of the NGO Gouranga Rout said, malaria deaths in the interior areas go unreported as the people rarely opt for medical aid and by the time help reaches them, it is too late.
However, Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) Anand Padhi said an ASHA worker has been employed in every village and she is equipped with rapid detection kits for immediate test of malaria. This has not only helped in timely tracking of fever cases but also helped in reducing fatalities which is reflected in low death rate, the CDMO added.