Hospitals flooded as vector borne diseases sting the capital

New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) Due to the rise in dengue and chikungunya cases, government hospitals were flooded with patients while private labs and small nursing homes were overcharging for blood tests, says a report.

“Patients are asked to buy medicines themselves from outside. Availability of doctors to manage cases of dengue and chikungunya has become an issue,” according to a survey conducted by LocalCircles, a citizen engagement platform.

People have pointed out that there is a lack of fogging in their areas to eradicate mosquitoes as it is a vector-borne disease.

Fogging is done only when an epidemic breaks out and only in a few places. It is done blindly without identifying the place of breeding or to eliminate breeding.

There is also no way for the people to request a second round of fogging with municipal fogging trucks and machines not being seen in action this year.

Patients with high fever were made to wait for hours in government hospitals for a doctor to see them, said the LocalCircles report on Friday.

The report said that 68 per cent of the people in a sample of almost 34,000 have witnessed dengue, chikunginya and malaria in their family or friends.

Doctors claim that besides chikungunya and dengue, there is a strain of virus which shows all the symptoms of chikungunya or dengue. It affects the appetite and joints of the victims.

According to the report, open drains have not been cleaned and have become a breeding ground for the vectors. Vacant spaces as well as construction sites are major grounds for mosquito breeding and not much is being done by the municipality. Government hospitals do not handle cases of dengue well.

To conduct the survey, the respondents were asked if any family member or friend has suffered from chikungunya/dengue/viral and 68 per cent of the people in the Delhi/NCR area said “yes”.

“This does not mean that 68 per cent people in Delhi suffered from this disease, so please note that is not the case. Extrapolating it to mean 68 per cent people in Delhi suffer from this disease would mean it is an epidemic, which we are not stating or claiming in this survey,” the report said.

The participation in the poll was very high with 33,954 people weighing in with their opinions.

The data from the survey also shows that the south of Delhi and Faridabad are more affected. Eighty five percent of the 6,172 people polled in Faridabad claimed that they have seen it in their family or friends.

Gurgaon on the other hand had a much lower incidence of disease with just 43 per cent of 6,519 respondents saying that they have known of this disease among family or friends.

–IANS

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