Even as the health department is trying to contain fever and other ailments across the district, lack of inter-departmental coordination and dearth of staff are becoming a stumbling block.
The other departments, especially the local self-government departments, are shying away from their responsibilities. “Udayamperoor has reported the maximum number of rat fever cases, with the marshy area becoming a breeding ground for rats. The MGNRES workers who frequent the rat-infected spots are vulnerable to diseases. The health department can only create awareness on rat fever and promote preventive measures. But even this goes awry due to lack of coordination. Hence there is rise in rat fever in Udayamperoor panchayat,” said sources.
They said, “most of the workers are not even taking the pills before venturing out into the marshy fields and the local self-governments can make an effort to ensure that the area is rat-free.” They also said that fogging is yet to be done in some panchayats. “This is dangerous as fever cases are on the rise,” said a health official who inspected Verapetty gramapanchayat which does not even own a fogging machine. “We have persuaded the panchayat officials to buy a fogging machine at the earliest,” he said.
Another problem is the dearth of staff in the health department. For instance, a primary health centre (PHC) has to cater to about 30,000 people. “The PHC has 23 staff, including a health inspector, three junior health inspectors, medical officer and a pharmacist and it is impossible for them to handle 30,000 people. It is the same every where,” sources said.