India’s capital reckons with flood-linked disease

by Rahul Devi

The recent flooding in Delhi, India’s capital, has not only caused widespread damage to homes and infrastructure but has also led to a surge in diseases. Heavy rainfall in Delhi and neighboring states caused the Yamuna River to rise, resulting in severe flooding. In the aftermath of the flood, several areas reported an increase in waterborne illnesses such as typhoid and cholera, as well as vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengue.

The government took swift action to bring the situation under control, setting up temporary relief camps for those affected. Healthcare workers in these camps noticed a rise in cases of typhoid, fever, conjunctivitis, and diseases such as dengue and malaria. The mayor of Delhi revealed alarming statistics, with the city already reporting 77 cases of dengue, 30 cases of malaria, and four cases of chikungunya in July alone.

The flooded areas provided an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes, resulting in an increase in mosquito-borne diseases. However, compared to previous years, the public health system was better prepared to handle the situation. Efforts such as frequent fumigation and other preventive measures were carried out by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to prevent the flood-affected areas from becoming breeding grounds.

Delhi’s monsoon season is known for viral fevers, dengue, and typhoid. Hospitals take precautions every year, such as adding extra beds for fever patients and educating people about hygiene. This year, they were more vigilant due to the recent flood situation.

The intensity and brevity of the rainfall this year set it apart from previous years. Climate change experts warn that global warming is altering weather patterns worldwide, increasing the likelihood of extreme weather events. Rising temperatures also contribute to mosquito breeding and the diseases they transmit. The impacts of climate change extend beyond health, affecting crop production and leading to economic losses.

The recent flood and its consequences serve as a wake-up call for cities like Delhi and the world at large. The Delhi government’s draft action plan on climate change predicts significant economic losses due to the impact of climate change. Adapting to these changes and taking concerted efforts to combat climate change and diseases is no longer optional, but imperative.

Delhi, as the heart of India, needs to prioritize its well-being. The city must prepare to address the growing risks of respiratory, waterborne, airborne, and vector-borne diseases. It is essential to invest in infrastructure and adaptation measures to mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure the health and well-being of its residents.

The recent flooding in Delhi should serve as a wake-up call for governments and individuals worldwide. Climate change is already affecting our cities and lives. It is time to take action and safeguard our future.

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