The Telegraph
Tuesday , July 8 , 2014

Sickening side of a rainy season

If bounty is often bane, monsoon is mostly maladies.

Almost every government and private healthcare unit in East Singhbhum — more than 35 of them — is witnessing a steady flow of patients with water-borne infections like gastro-enteritis, bacterial diseases like typhoid and ailments carried by vectors like malaria.

Sore throat and runny nose are common manifestations of how the human body is grappling with the many scourges the season of rain brings with it.

Long queues were seen outside the OPDs of state-owned MGM Medical College and Hospital in Sakchi and Khasmahal Sadar Hospital, 6km from Jamshedpur, between 9am and 1pm on Monday. The scene was no different at corporate heal hubs such as Tata Main Hospital, Tata Motors Hospital and Tinplate Hospital.

Records suggested 80-odd victims of seasonal diseases at MGM and between 30 and 50 at the sadar hospital every day. At least 20 of the 35 beds in the emergency block of the Sakchi hospital are, currently, occupied with such patients.

“The inflow of patients has increased by almost 30 per cent since the last week of June. Most have symptoms like vomiting, nausea, belching, abdominal cramps, high fever, headache and loose motion,” said attending sister Jharna Pal at MGM hospital.

N. Mahalingam (45), a contract worker with a private company and resident of Birsanagar, was admitted to the hospital on Monday morning in a severely dehydrated condition after he complained of abdominal cramps and loose motions for three days.

Head of medicine at MGM hospital Nirmal Kumar blamed humidity, unhygienic surroundings and eating habits for the spread of diseases.

“Garbage mounds or open drains in residential areas are breeding places for vectors like mosquitoes and bacteria. In addition, people eat without washing their hands; some have stale food, which can cause infectious diarrhoea. Keep your surroundings clean, drink boiled water, eat freshly cooked food and use mosquito nets or repellents,” he advised.

“Since yesterday (Sunday) evening, he could no longer move or even sit up,” said Ramesh Kumar, a neighbour, who brought him to hospital.

An alarmed administration has asked all health centres in 11 blocks to shore up the stock of medicines while the district malaria officer has been asked to spray bleaching powder in drains.

“We are following a strict duty roster (for disease control) in close co-ordination with local urban bodies (JNAC, MNAC and Jugsalai Municipality). The malaria department will spray larvicides and bleaching powder in rural areas. Saline and medicines in adequate quantities are being procured in advance. We have a meeting to review matters,” said district civil surgeon Vibha Sharan.

Are you satisfied with rain disease control measures?