KOZHIKODE: Epidemic outbreak looms large over the low-lying areas in the city owing to water-logging as monsoon showers show no signs of let-down. The Corporation and the Health Department authorities are apprehensive about a possible dengue and malaria outbreak in the areas.
Flooded water poses threat to the densely-populated low-lying areas in the city, including Jafar Khan Colony, Puthiyappa, Vellayil, Puthiya Kadavu, Chamundi Valappu and Kalluthankadavu.
Last month, confirming the apprehensions, dengue and malaria outbreaks were reported in Puthiya Kadavu, Vellayil and Puthiyappa.
The authorities, however, don't rule out the possibility of an imminent dengue and malaria outbreak in the areas.
Corporation Health Affairs Standing Committee chairperson Janamma Kunjunni and District Malaria Officer Dr Vimal Raj admit that water-logging in the low-lying areas is a concern, which demands an early solution.
Janamma Kunjunni admits that there is no proper mechanism by which water can be removed from the low-lying areas. “The water-logging will generate an outbreak,” she says.
Dr Vimal Raj says the water-logged pits will turn into major mosquito-breeding hubs when the rainfall takes a break, leading to malaria and dengue outbreaks.
It is also pointed out that migrant labourers are likely to become carriers of diseases.
Meanwhile, it is alleged that the Corporation authorities had failed to take prevention measures in the previous years, though epidemic outbreaks were reported then.
Slamming the Corporation authorities, Indian Medical Association Kozhikode district president Dr K P Balakrishnan alleges that the civic body has failed to take precautionary measures and conduct adequate pre-monsoon drives.
“The authorities failed to keep the drains clean ahead of the monsoon and awareness was not given to the public,” he says. “Even the potable water carried through the Corporation's pipelines has been contaminated owing to the leakages spotted in various parts of the city,” he adds.
However, the Health Department and the Corporation authorities claim that all preparations are in place to avert possible outbreaks.
Dr Vimal Raj says a full-fledged special team called the District Immigrant Cleaning Team has been set up to prevent outbreaks.
“The team conducts household visits every Tuesday and source reduction activities are launched with the cooperation of the local residents in the localities which have been identified as high-risk areas. Besides, we have directed educational institutions to observe Friday as dry day. Tuesday will be observed as dry day in offices and factories, while dry day will be observed on Sundays in houses,” he says.
“In the wake of the outbreak threat, three dispensaries have so far started functioning in various parts of the city and three more will become functional soon. Dispensaries have procured requisite medicines and the primary health centres and the Corporation will extend all possible help to the residents' associations and voluntary organisations to organise medical camps,” says Janamma Kunjunni.
She adds that a special meeting will be called on August 16 to discuss the preventive measures.