A CRPF jawan stands guard outside central examination hall at RIMS in Ranchi, where security personnel are undergoing treatment, on Tuesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Ranchi, Aug. 23: Prevention is better then cure is the CRPF’s new mantra after scores of its jawans taking part in Operation Monsoon in Saranda were struck by malaria.
“After the recent outbreak of malaria among our jawans deployed in Saranda, we have thought of introducing preventive medicine practices. The team of doctors assigned to each battalion would be advising the jawans on preventive measures rather than curing or treating the diseases,” CRPF additional director general of police P.M. Nair told The Telegraph.
Advance weekly doses of chloroquine and other drugs used to treat malaria, use of mosquito repellent creams, wearing clothes that cover the entire body and use of medicated nets are some of the measures to be taken up under preventive care, Nair said.
To start with, the CRPF headquarters is learnt to have sent the first consignment of required medicines to Jharkhand where as many as 13 CRPF battalions and another two battalions of specialised strike force COBRA are fighting out Naxalites in the region. There are around 9,000 CRPF personnel deputed in the state.
Over the last one week, over 200 jawans have fallen prey to malaria, which has claimed the life of one COBRA jawan.
Meanwhile, more jawans deployed in Saranda were evacuated this afternoon through the BSF-operated Dhruv helicopter.
Administrative carelessness on the part of middle and top rung CRPF officers is being attributed as one of the reasons behind the malaria outbreak.
Sources said the required medical cover normally given during operations was not available as doctors and nursing assistants had stationed themselves in the respective battalion bases.
“The medical units are supposed to move with the forces during the operations. But the norm is not being followed,” a source said.
CRPF deputy inspector general (Kolhan region) Bhanu Pratap Singh, however, claimed the battalion doctors were in their respective bases. “A few of them have also fallen prey to mosquito bite,” he said.
The malaria attack has not only affected the ongoing Operation Monsoon in the region, but the BSF operated chopper is being engaged more for evacuating malaria-hit jawans than conducting normal operational rescue activities.
“We have made seven trips in the last three days to ferry jawans from Saranda to Ranchi for treatment,” conceded an official.
Meanwhile, from the CRPF headquarters, special director general (headquarters) J.C. Dabas today arrived in Ranchi to take stock of the situation. Dabas went to RIMS to meet the ailing jawans in the afternoon.