Beware of the Sting!
CHENNAI: As the monsoon is setting in, the cases of vector borne diseases such as dengue, malaria, chikungunya and Japanese encephalitis are likely to rise. Officials of the State Health Department are undertaking preventive measures for the same.
A total of 2,866 cases of dengue have been reported in the State. The State Health Department has instructed government hospitals to conduct fogging activities twice a day and check larva breeding points to prevent dengue outbreaks.
As many as 140 cases of malaria, 13 cases of Japanese Encephalitis and 129 cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome have been reported until June. Malaria is seeing an increased prevalence in Chennai, Ramanathapuram, Dharmapuri, Thoothukudi and Kanniyakumari.
Over 21,000 healthcare workers have been deployed to work on mosquito prevention activities including fogging, spraying bleaching powder and other activities to prevent mosquito-breeding.
“We’ve conducted clearance of debris, empty drums, and other unnecessary materials to prevent breeding of larva. We have 3 cases of dengue right now but as per the instructions of the State Health Department, we’re keeping separate wards ready for treating these cases. After the 2018 outbreak, hospitals are keeping the beds and drugs ready for effective management,” said Dr P Balaji, dean, Stanley Medical College Hospital.
Until May this year, 68 cases of chikungunya were reported in the State. Currently, there are 20 filaria endemic districts in the State.
As part of filaria eradication and management measures, the government is providing Rs 1,000 for those suffering from Grade IV Filaria and more than 8,000 people have been benefited.
The procurement of drugs for the treatment of vector-borne diseases is also being done by Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation. The drug control authorities are tracking availability.
“We have stocks of all medicines required to treat dengue, malaria, encephalitis and other viral infections. There is no major demand right now, but we must ensure the availability of drugs in the coming months if the demand surges,” said Dr K Sivabalan, State Drug Controller.
The procurement of drugs for the treatment of vector-borne diseases is also being done by Tamil Nadu Medical Service
Mosquitoes give patients a tough time at govt hospitals
The patients at government hospitals complain about the mosquito menace in the general wards of the hospital.
This raises the concerns of the patients as they are worried about being affected by vector-borne diseases other than the usual illness they are admitted for.
The patients at the Institute of Child Health, Stanley Medical College Hospital, Government Raja Sir Ramaswamy Mudaliar Hospital, and Government Peripheral Hospital complain of mosquito menace in several general wards of the hospital.
“Some of the hospital wards are dark and though there is not much garbage, some parts of the hospital are prone to water stagnation. It is also raining occasionally and that leads to an increase in the mosquito menace on the hospital premises. Especially the patients in the wards near the Amma Canteen cannot even sleep at night because of the mosquitoes,” said a patient at Government Raja Sir Ramaswamy Mudaliar (RSRM) Lying-in Hospital at Royapuram.
Adding to the same, S Seenu, an attendee of a 4-year-old patient at the Institute of Child Health said that all the patients in the general paediatric ward rue mosquito menace.
“Even after repeated requests to resolve the issue, healthcare workers at the hospital say they are cleaning the hospital premises and there is nothing else they can do,” he added.
It is not just inpatients, even outpatients rue about water stagnation at one of the entrances of the Government Peripheral Hospital in Anna Nagar. Though the hospital workers clear the water occasionally, it is certainly causing mosquito menace and troubling the patients.
Another patient at one of the wards with the neuro department in the new building of the Stanley Medical College Hospital said that many wards of the block are not in use and that also increases the mosquito threat. “Though the hospital premises is being cleaned by the staff, the repellants are of no use and we have to get nets on our own,” a patient said.
Responding to the issue, a senior official from the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine said that respective hospital in-charges or deans have been instructed to keep a check on the mosquito menace so that the patients can be saved from mosquito-borne diseases.
Proper diet strengthens immunity, helps treat infection: Medicos
Dietary modifications are crucial for proper management of dengue and to strengthen immunity, which prevents other vector borne diseases, claim medical experts.
While dengue starts with a high fever (102-104 degrees F), dengue destructs platelets and caused thrombocytopenia.
“Dengue rapidly lowers platelets in the body. This is dangerous and the patient requires hospitalisation. As the fever subsides, so does the platelet count. To prevent that and to strengthen the immunity, people need to eat certain nutritious food that help the body produce platelets faster,” says Mayuri T, dietician at Fortis Hospital.
Vitamin C is an important nutrient that helps in the production of platelets.
“Oranges, gooseberries, lemons and bell peppers also contain high amounts of vitamin C, which helps your body during dengue. Coriander leaves are one of the best home remedies for dengue, as it will help to reduce the body temperature and strengthen the immunity system,” adds Mayuri.