With the onset of the New Year, the District Health Department is all set to tighten the noose over the functioning of barber shops, medical laboratories and dental clinics.
This is based on the recommendations of the report filed by the Indian Medical Council on the hepatitis B prevalence in the Ooramana village. Starting with awareness classes for the institutions concerned, the department will start conducting raids and take strict action against erring institutions.
The report by the Indian Council of Medical Research on the large-scale prevalence of hepatitis B in Ooramana village was released in December.
It had pointed to the unscientific practices followed in barber shops, medical laboratories and dental clinics for the spread of the disease and recommended to the Health Department to take preventive measures on the issue.
Meanwhile, the number of confirmed Hepatitis B cases reported in the district shot up from 31 in 2011 to 127 in 2012. This is apart from the 348 hepatitis B-infected persons that were reported in 2,017 residents in the village.
“The prevalence of hepatitis B is a major cause of concern now. We have already started workshops and awareness classes on the scientific practices that the institutions are expected to follow. After a specified time frame, we will conduct inspections and action will be taken against defaulters,” said District Health Officer P N Sreenivasan.
“In 2011, the number of Hepatitis A cases was very high. But in 2012 we were able to control it by strictly monitoring the water supply by tankers and conducting raids on hotels. Similarly we will be able to reduce the prevalence of hepatitis B by keeping a vigil on barber shops, medical laboratories and other institutions.
Dengue has also been another serious concern in 2012. Though no death was reported in the district, the number of suspected cases increased from 108 in 2011 to 820 in 2012. The confirmed cases, meanwhile, saw an increase from 139 to 248. Even December saw as many as 18 new confirmed cases of dengue and 84 suspected ones. Deaths also occurred due to leptospirosis (3), hepatitis A (1), hepatitis B (1), hepatitis E (1) and Tetanus (1).