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India – Dengue warning for informal settlements in Hyderabad

HYDERABAD: While slum belts in the Hyderabad district have been identified as likely to be the worst-hit in the case of heavy rainfall, besides the problems associated with water logging, a bevy of diseases are likely to to develop in the areas, unless necessary administrative checks are in place.

With the swine flu scare adding to the concerns of the health departments in the district, the possibility of epidemic outbreaks are keeping health officials on their toes.

In this connection, the District Medical Health authorities revealed on Sunday that while weekly meetings have been initiated with HMWSSB officials for monitoring sanitation issues, a number of additional measures are also being instituted.

Officials indicated that specific problem- prone areas in Hyderabad district have been identified, and an action plan is being formulated in this regard.

District Medical Health Officer for the Hyderabad district, Ch Jayakumari said on Sunday that the possibility of dengue fever is on the rise in the slums and low lying areas in the Twin Cities.

While officials have reportedly started initiating sanitation drives in low lying areas with bleaching powder and similar disinfectant substances as a deterrent for mosquito larvae, the GHMC officials meanwhile have been given the responsibility of initiating local level drives to alleviate the situation in areas prone to water stagnation. Sources indicated that measures regarding application of bleaching powder may not be adequate to cover all the areas at the local level in the district, and as such, individuals should exercise discretion to sanitise their locality on their own accord.

Jayakumari noted that a team from the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP) along with the District Epidemic Cell is presently monitoring the situation in the district, with special regards to waterborne diseases. The central surveillance unit will coordinate the activities of the IDSP at the national level providing technical support, and guidance along with financial support. A number of medical and paramedical staff in Government hospitals have also been deployed to monitor the disease situation in the high risk areas.

Officials said that two mobile teams have been dispatched from the DHMO office, who along with officials from the GHMC have be instructed to keep a watch on individual areas. Mobile Treatment Centres (MTCs) are also being reportedly readied to tackle the likelihood of an outbreak, with special emphasis on schools and slum areas in the district.

Meanwhile, information regarding the administration of oral rehydrating solution (ORS) in the case of disease management is being conveyed at the local area level, in conjunction with Asha workers and medical officers.

The areas that have been identified so far include Aman Nagar, Azampura, Charminar, Barkas, Kishan Bag, Bholakpur, Asifnagar, Borabanda, Viveknagar, Agapura, Ramnagar, Mettuguda, Gudimalkapur among others in the district, informed the Health Officer.

Source, Aug. 24, 2009 – ExpressBuzz

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