Considering the possibility of a leptospirosis outbreak, the district Health Department has decided to launch a long-term action plan here.
District Medical Officer (DMO) Haseena Mohammed said the action plan is being implemented in the panchayat considering the large number of leptospirosis cases reported from the area during last year.
“A total of 24 cases were reported from the panchayat last year. Most of the infected were Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme employees who had undertaken cleaning work in the panchayat,” DMO said.
Sasikumar, an official with the Health Department, said as part of the long-term action plan, awareness meets will be organised at every ward. “The panchayat lacks a proper waste management system. Hence, awareness will be given through ward-level conventions in this regard. Classes on how to maintain personal hygiene will also be held through gram sabhas,” the official said. Meanwhile, Health Department officials alleged the inefficiency and apathy on the part of panchayat authorities for the outbreak of communicable diseases.
“Unscientific filling of streams and unhygienic condition in the area are the main reason leading to the spread of disease. There is no proper drainage system to prevent water logging. Most streams in the area have been filled and this is causing water logging in the area. The leptospirosis bacteria survive in rat urine and water-logging helps them find human host,” they said.
They alleged that the authorities are not taking steps to improve the sanitation and drainage facilities in the area.
“Proper sanitation facility is still beyond the reach for many. In many places, toilet wastes are directly flushed into the streams. Besides, acres of unused paddy fields in the area have accelerated the conditions,” they said.
However, Udayamperoor panchayat president Ajitha Salim said the local body will co-operate with the Health Department to prevent disease outbreak in the area.