Cholera returns, mapping of endemic villages begins
BHUBANESWAR/RAYAGADA : With cholera outbreak reported in Rayagada district, the Health Department on Monday started a mapping of the endemic villages in Kalyansinghpur and Kashipur blocks where local tribal youths would be engaged to step up IEC activities to contain the menace.
The IEC activities would be carried out in tribal dialects by the local volunteers so as to get a better impact among the villages where cholera and severe diarrhoea have had a history of outbreak in 2007 and 2010. So far, about 250 highly diarrhoea prone areas have been identified in the district where local youths can create awareness and convince the tribal inhabitants to follow the guidelines.
While five deaths have been reported from the district so far, the State Government has put the official toll at two. Jami Urlaka of Palama village was the latest to die but an official confirmation is awaited.
So far, officially, 46 cases of diarrhoea have been reported, with two deaths. Six persons who were under treatment have been discharged.
The Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), which has a field unit at Rayagada, has confirmed that two rectal samples tested positive for vibrio cholerae. Sources in the Health Department said, standard cholera treatment is being provided in the affected villages as it is the protocol once vibrio cholerae reports come in from the affected areas.
Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak rushed to Rayagada to take stock of the situation even as a State-level team, headed by a Joint Director level officer, has been asked to remain camped. While the two-day bandh called by Maoists prevented the Minister and his team from visiting the affected villages, Nayak held meetings with Collector Guha Poonam Tapas Kumar and other top functionaries of the district.
Talking to this paper, Nayak said, the Department has already set up a drug treatment centre at Palama for providing immediate medical attention to the affected population. A mobile health unit and an ambulance have also been pressed.
“We have built up the emergency health facilities at Palama since it lies at an important point from where all vulnerable villages can be accessed. At present, the situation is under control,” the Minister said adding that the special ward at district headquarters hospital has been strengthened.
Nayak also took the stock of newly built DHH building and assured that more specialists will be appointed soon. Meanwhile, a team from RMRC headquarters will head to Rayagada on Tuesday.