Hitting rock bottom: Kurla tops list of unhealthy wards
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11 August 2010
Kurla has been named the Mumbai’s unhealthiest ward, where a whopping 14,593 sensitive disease cases were reported between April 2009 and March 2010 from civic hospitals and clinics. Following closely are Parel, Prabhadevi–Worli, Andheri and Kalbhadevi–Byculla–Mumbai Central, according to a report.
Praja Foundation released their White Paper on Mumbai’s health scenario ‘Guess which is Mumbai’s unhealthiest ward?’ on Tuesday. The report details the sensitive disease cases registered in the municipal dispensaries and workings of the elected representatives in the public health committee in the last two years. The data is collated by the Praja Foundation through RTI Act and comes directly from the municipal corporation itself.
The top five cases registered are diarrhoea, malaria, hypertension, tuberculosis and diabetes. Diarrhoea tops the list, and the cases have increased from around 70,000 registered in the 2008–09 to over 1,00,000 during 2009–10. The next highest complaint across civic dispensaries is malaria, which has risen from around 10,000 to 20,000 cases in the last two years.
Nitai Mehta, Managing Trustee of the foundation, said, "While the privileged population of the city has access to bottled water and filtering systems, many of the economically challenged population has no recourse but to consume potable water supplied by the BMC. He added, "Diarrhoea is a water–borne disease. Clearly the quality of water is suspect."
The report also contained information about the BMC’s Public Health Committee. From 2008 to 2010, a total of 28 health committee meetings were held and 63 questions were asked altogether. None of them concerned improving or enhancing health environment in the wards, the report said. In fact, the issue raised the maximum number of times by the corporators was staff behaviour. Twenty–one corporators did not ask any questions at all. Attendance of these meetings also did not fare well.
"The civic administration needs to clean up its act and its water," Mehta said. "When they start asking questions things will start happening."