The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Health meet on vector-borne diseases

Siliguri, Oct. 17: Mosquito nets appeared to be the main point of discussion today both at the circuit house here and at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH).

While the Darjeeling district magistrate emphasised on the use of mosquito nets to check communicative diseases, Deepa Das Munshi, the Congress MLA from Goalpokhar in North Dinajpur, expressed surprise that many patients at the NBMCH were without mosquito nets.

Rajesh Pandey, the new district magistrate of Darjeeling, held a meeting at the circuit house here with health officials, local NGOs and the sabhadhipati of Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad, Mani Thapa, to take stock of the situation in the district, given the present spate of malaria, dengue and chikungunya reported from across the country.

“Instructions have been given to necessary quarters to make people aware of the use of mosquito nets to avoid the mosquito-borne diseases,” Pandey told reporters after the meeting. “Though not a single dengue case has been reported in the district so far, we have to be careful about it.”

Health officials at the meeting said the focus was to discuss the comprehensive strategy that they will adopt to control the spread of vector-borne diseases. “From awareness campaigns to drug distribution and the present status of the diseases — everything was discussed at the meeting,” an official said.

Das Munshi, who visited NBMCH today, had a meeting with the hospital officials. “The infrastructure at the hospital needs to be upgraded immediately, given the number of patients admitted here. Separate units like cardiology and nephrology also need to be opened here,” Das Munshi said. “It is surprising that even after so many cases of malaria and suspected dengue in north Bengal, many indoor patients do not have mosquito nets.”

Samir Ghosh Roy, the superintendent of NBMCH, said: “We took Das Munshi to different departments and briefed her about the facilities.”

He later confirmed that six blood slides — four from Alipurduar and two from Jalpaiguri — of suspected dengue cases have been sent to them, which will be examined at the microbiology department.

Two die of fever

Two children, Raju Chowdhury (12) from Habibpur and Puja Saha (8) from Manikchak in Malda, died today at the district hospital due to fever.

The Malda district magistrate has also demanded an explanation from the health authorities as to why the only pathologist at the district hospital was allowed to go on a leave during the crisis.

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