09 August 2010
By Sumitra Deb Roy
Govt Wants To Focus On Surveillance
The state, however, is hopeful that malaria cases will come down in the next fortnight. "With the kind of measures that we have undertaken in Mumbai, the parasitic load will be down soon and results will be visible in the next 10–15 days,’’ said Dr D S Dakhure, director, state health services. He said that the six–member team comprising assistant directors of state health services has suggested steps to arrest the spread of the disease.
"We have suggested that for at least a month or two, the community health volunteers should visit households and ensure that patients complete the course of medicines,’’ said Dakhure.
Some civic officials are sceptical of the move. "Community volunteers are needed for almost every health programme. If they are taken away solely for malaria, these programmes may suffer,’’ said a senior BMC official.
The state and the civic body have also appealed to the private practitioners to stick to the ‘golden drugs’: chloroquine and primaquine. "These drugs are still effective and doctors should prescribe them as the first line of treatment,’’ said Dakhure. Malaria has claimed 11 lives in Mumbai in August alone. Between August 1 and 8, about 1,655 patients have been admitted to civic hospitals.
Head of the BMC’s epidemiology cell, Dr Daksha Shah said, "Private hospitals like Lilavati, Bombay, Kohinoor, Sushrusha, Hiranandani, Kokilaben Ambani and Fortis have started evening OPDs at our behest.’’
Meanwhile, a 52–year–old from N M Joshi Marg, Lower Parel, succumbed to malaria on Saturday. He was admitted to a civic hospital on August 3.