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Okhla seeing worst of vector-borne diseases

How many people died in Okhla due to vector-borne diseases? How many people are suffering from dengue and chikungunya in Okhla? It is difficult to find answers to these questions as since the outbreak of the diseases no organisation has done any survey to take stock of the situation.

This despite the fact that all major Muslim organizations have their headquarters in Okhla, but for them health, cleanliness and education is not an issue as they are more bothered by international issues.

However, if you speak to residents in Jamia Nagar then they confirm that large number of people either a family or friend has been affected by a vector-borne disease in the last month. OKHLATIMES.COM has documented all the deaths in the locality.

Later on a national daily carried a story claiming that death toll due to dengue in the locality has crossed more than dozen. Several activists have claimed that the toll is higher and have put it to 30 claiming that in several cases residents without informing anybody has carried the body to their hometown in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar.

A resident said a Batla House graveyard caretaker told him that every day he has been seeing two or three bodies in the graveyard a claim that OKHLATIMES.COM was unable to authenticate independently. Moreover, it is not known how many among them died due to dengue related complications. And in such an environment, rumours too are doing the rounds with AAP dissenters terming every death related to dengue.

A few days ago a post surfaced claiming that a particular person died due to dengue. Later on it was found he died due to heart attack. Besides dengue and chikungunay, several residents have said that doctors told them how there is another strain of virus that shows all symptom of the diseases but only hits appetite and joints. In Delhi a large number of people are down with vector-borne diseases with Okhla leading in deaths.

Dr. Sanjay K. Rai, professor at the Centre for Community Medicine (AIIMS), who is a leading health specialist strongly recommends introducing dengue vaccines in India. “The current dengue prevention and control strategy is focused on vector control. Unless we see efficient implementation of these control mechanisms at the community level, the incidence will keep rising,” said Dr. Rai as reported by The Hindu.

Dr. S.P. Byotra, senior consultant and head of the Department of Internal Medicine at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said: “Several endemic countries like Mexico and Brazil have already introduced the vaccine to complement vector-control programmes. We hope that by the end of this year it will be available in India too. Vector control, introduction of effective vaccines and accurate disease surveillance efforts are essential to curb dengue.” He added that most dengue patients recover in due course. Only about 10 per cent of the cases see severe complications that lead to internal haemorrhage .

As cases rise, the Delhi Government too has get down to address the issue. It has issued statement that Delhi government hospitals and all health facilities fully prepared to treat patients with any kind of fever.

Health Minister Satyendar Jain thanked the residents of Delhi for their overwhelming response to the appeal of ensuring no breeding point of mosquitoes in and around their homes on Sunday.

All major organisations including various Delhi government departments and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation also joined the drive to ensure there is no stagnant water at their respective offices, a primary source for mosquitoes breeding that cause vector borne diseases – dengue and chikungunya.

Many government offices were opened on Sunday with the specific purpose of checking whether any possible mosquito breeding points could be there, including roofs of buildings where water tanks are stationed.

The Health Minister appealed to the people to continue ensuring preventive steps which effectively prohibit breeding of mosquitoes in this season.

Jain said all Delhi Government hospitals are fully prepared to treat patients suffering from any kind of fever, including dengue and chikungunya. Mohalla Clinics, Poly Clinics and government dispensaries are working all seven days of the week to ensure people do not face any hardship.

The Health Minister said treatment facilities including a large number of extra beds have already been put in place in all Delhi government hospitals and residents need not go anywhere else for treatment.

He appreciated the efforts of doctors who are working round the clock to ensure no patient goes unattended and at the same time are allaying fears of people who are having any kind of fever.

Jain has directed the commissioners of three Municipal Corporations (MCDs) to ensure all calls made on their helplines seeking fogging and related preventive measures are attended to swiftly.

The Health Minister appreciated the efforts of his colleague and Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra for mobilising different sections of the society in his #OneDelhi campaign, which he has launched for prevention of dengue and chikungunya in the national Capital.

Traders associations, religious and spiritual leaders, professionals and artists are coming forward to support the #OneDelhi campaign for ensuring preventive steps against dengue and chikungunya and also to appeal to people that there is no cause for panic.

The Delhi Government has also bought several fogging machines and launched a one-month fogging campaign to kill mosquitoes. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also urged all political parties to join hands in battle against mosquitoes.

“Around 150-200 fogging machine have been launched, the rest will start working in two days,” said Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain, adding: “Fogging will be carried out in each assembly constituency with 8-10 machines between 7am and 11am and 4pm and 7pm. We are not stopping the MCDs or NDMC from doing whatever they are doing.”

“This will be in addition to that. They were unable to control mosquito breeding, therefore we have now taken it upon ourselves. We have received complaints that fogging was not being done properly, otherwise the mosquito population would have been brought under control,” the minister said.

In Okhla the AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan has claimed to have bought several fogging machines and was seen taking part in fogging campaigns personally.

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