KURNOOL: The people of Kurnool district are in grip of fear as seasonal diseases are spreading fast. Villagers and residents of tribal hamlets are the worst affected and they are forced to visit the district headquarters town of Kurnool or Hyderabad for better treatment.
According to unconfirmed reports, about seven persons died of the symptoms of diarrhea, dengue and viral fever in the past two weeks and nearly 187 more people are undergoing treatment at various hospitals in the district.
Nearly 30 per cent of people in all villages across the district have been affected by viral fevers in the last one month. If the government fails to take measures to check the spread of the disease, the situation will turn alarming. At least 100 fresh cases are being reported from various parts of the district every day, exposing the callousness and failure of the district administration in containing the outbreak of epidemics.
As per official records, two persons died of dengue symptoms at Neruduppal and Pesaladinne and a child succumbed to viral fever at Madarasupalle village recently. As many as 88 malaria cases, 12 brain fever cases and 87 dengue cases were registered in the past one month. Cases have been reported from Alur, Yammiganur, Gonegandla, Holagunda, Halaharvi, Nandyal, Kallur, Kodumur, Panyam, Pamulapadu, Atmakur, Sirsailam, Chagalamarri and Bandi Atmakur mandals.
NO PREVENTIVE STEPS
There is criticism that the health officials are not taking precautionary measures to check the spread of the diseases. The officials should conduct screening tests, medical and awareness camps and campaign through the media about the steps to be taken to ward off the diseases. They also need to sensitise people on personal hygiene and keeping the surroundings clean. But it seems that not much effort has been put in this direction by the officials.
Cold, cough, pertussis, tuberculosis and chicken pox are spread through the air. Loose motions, vomitings, typhoid, cholera and jaundice are water-borne diseases while flu, malaria, dengue, chikungunya, brain fever and filariasis are caused by the bacteria. Generally, these diseases are contracted while moving in busy areas. Thousands of people from Rayalaseema and Telangana districts visit Kurnool for various reasons making the bus stand and railway station busy. There are chances for the spread of the disease at such places. The C Camp area near rythu bazar in Kurnool is also an overcrowded place.
Contaminated water and insanitary conditions are the main reasons for the outbreak of diseases in the rural areas. The medical and health, Panchayat Raj and Rural Water Supply departments are drawing the flak for their negligence in doing the needful. In many villages and almost all tribal areas, the drainage and drinking water pipelines were laid many years ago and have not been changed for reasons best known only to the officials. The officials have been merely repairing the pipelines while they need replacement.
Ignoring the leakages in pipelines is one of the main reasons for the spread of the disease. Significantly, the officials of the Medical and Health Department have not taken up any drive to create awareness among the people about the diseases and measures to prevent them.
FUTILITY OF SCHEMES
The 13th Financial Commission released `19 crore at the rate of `10,000 to each village under the National Health Mission for sanitation purpose but due to official corruption the funds have been misused.
The situation in urban areas is no different. The Medical and Health Department spends `50 crore every year on medical service.
The Union and state governments are also spending crores for various schemes in the district regularly to educate people on seasonal diseases. But it seems like they are not reaching up to the mark yet.