Despite dengue, malaria spread, sanitary conditions, health facilities fail to improve

by Rahul Devi

Inadequate Sanitary Conditions and Healthcare Facilities in Ludhiana District

Even as dengue fever and malaria continue to spread in Ludhiana district, the sanitary conditions and healthcare facilities remain inadequate in most parts of the region. With 258 confirmed cases of dengue so far and fewer cases of malaria compared to previous years, the situation calls for urgent attention.

A visit to various parts of the district reveals a concerning picture. Garbage continues to pile up, stagnant water becomes breeding grounds for mosquitoes and flies, and overflowing drains and bins are a common sight due to the absence of proper sanitary arrangements. This not only poses a health risk but also increases the threat of an epidemic outbreak.

Most hospitals and dispensaries in the district lack adequate arrangements to treat fever patients and conduct the necessary clinical tests to diagnose dengue fever. Facilities such as platelet transfusion and separate wards for patients or special fever clinics are also lacking. Despite the Health Minister’s instructions to equip Civil Hospitals with essential facilities to handle the influx of dengue patients, most patients are still forced to visit private clinics and hospitals.

Surprisingly, out of the 33 active dengue patients currently hospitalized, none of them chose government health centers for treatment. Instead, they have been admitted to separate private hospitals. In addition to the confirmed cases, there may be more unreported cases as many seek treatment from unregistered medical practitioners or private clinics, neglecting the mandatory reporting to the Health Department.

Residents, both in rural and urban areas, have complained about the inadequate facilities at government health institutions, leading them to prefer private treatment. In remote areas, quacks and self-styled doctors are taking advantage of the situation by attending to numerous fever patients and charging hefty fees.

The district administration claims that the situation is “under control” and that they have made efforts to improve health and sanitary conditions in the district. However, a visit to various parts of the district indicates otherwise, with piles of garbage on roadsides and vacant areas, overflowing drains, and residents resorting to open dumping due to the ineffective door-to-door garbage collection system.

The Health Minister has assured the public that he is personally monitoring the situation and collaborating with all concerned departments to control the spread of vector-borne diseases. However, it is clear that more needs to be done to address the inadequate sanitary conditions and healthcare facilities in Ludhiana district.

In conclusion, the increasing number of dengue and malaria cases in Ludhiana district highlights the urgent need for improved sanitary conditions and healthcare facilities. The government should prioritize allocating resources and implementing measures to address these issues, ensuring the well-being of the residents and preventing further outbreak of diseases.

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