Open House: What efforts are needed to tackle the current dengue situation in Amritsar district? : The Tribune India


Local authorities least concerned

Rising cases of dengue in the state has caused financial troubles to residents. Due to these predicaments, people are no more excited about any festival as there are negative vibes everywhere. Even after surge in number of patients, the local authorities are not concerned about how to address the situation. The administration should start working before the situation get worse. The reason of behind spread of disease is low immunity of people due to adulterated food. The government should check on these practices so that plausible solutions can be taken to curb frequent diseases which make residents life more difficult.

Sukhmeet Kaur

Focus on destroying dengue larvae

  • As there is no effective vaccine against dengue, controlling and preventing its outbreak are the most essential steps to control the spread in the district and Punjab. The primary preventive measures to reduce dengue infections are the control of misquote population. One most recommended environmental management strategy is to eliminate unnecessary container habitats that collect water.
  • Health officials are conducting an early awareness campaign about the symptoms of dengue and malaria needs to be undertaken regularly. The rise in dengue cases in our city is a result of sheer negligence of the health and civic authorities. Our health officials should focus on destroying the dengue larvae. The authorities concerned must take regular mosquitoes control measures and carry out fogging much before the onslaught of dengue.
  • There should be one weekly ‘dry day’ to make the people aware of the measures like coolers cleaning, to curb the spread of dreaded dengue, these precautions will surely yield good results. The civic bodies as well as residents should share the blame of littering and sorry state of our streets and roads. At the same time, the residents of our cities should not abjure their own duty and responsibility of not littering their surroundings, which leads to mosquito breeding. LJ singh

Ensure fogging in all areas of city

To handle the current situation is a great challenge for the administration. The foremost step the administration should take is to ensure fogging of spray in all areas of city every day. Secondly, awareness should be created amongst residents to leave no stone unturned for clearing of accumulated water. Thirdly, hospitals should be fully equipped to deal with any sort of emergencies. The strength of beds and doctors should be increased. In current scenario, we are safe from another health emergency but if situation is not controlled right now by effective measures it may lead to another health emergency.

Sanjay Chawla

QUESTION

The ETT-TET and BEd-TET qualified teachers are protesting against the state government for not keeping their promise of giving them jobs. The Congress came to power in 2017 with unemployment being one of the prime issues facing it. Do you think it’s high time for the government to address shortage of teachers in government schools and release appointment letters as demanded by protesting teachers?

Suggestions in not more than 200 words can be sent to [email protected] by Thursday (November 11)

SGPC, NGOs should help patients

It’s our traditions to invite professionals and businessmen from other states to settle in the city and make their contribution for its economic development. People from different states visit the holy city to avail medical facilities, especially in the fields of Orthopaedics and Ophthalmology. We should extend better medical facilities to the patients coming from other states so convert this crisis for promotion of medical tourism in the city. SGPC and other leading NGOs should come forward and take initiative to help dengue patients coming to the holy city from other states.

Naresh Johar

Keep surroundings clean to curb spread

Dengue has become a serious epidemic in Amritsar thanks to chronic insanitary conditions prevailing in and around the walled city. It is a seasonal visitor that has struck this year with a vengeance. However, the point to remember is that dengue is seldom fatal. In fact, hospitalisation is needed only in extremely serious cases. I am of the view that widespread dengue (or Typhoid) is more a statement on the municipal services available to the residents than a commentary on our health care system. But this is not to deny the role of the residents, who share the blame too. I am reminded of protracted strike by sanitation staff the 1950s. Fed up with the filth, the residents themselves handled the problem. People stopped littering here and there and checked others too from being irresponsible. Do we need a similar strike again to learn the lesson? But then, the situation in other Punjab cities is also not much better as dengue is a tropical disease. Even Delhi is reeling under this seasonal problem. Fogging vans/scooters are seen occasionally and the officers and politicians are not serious against malaria and dengue. Fogging now is only a temporary measure which may contain the ailment in an enclosed space for some time. Stinking public latrines with pools of water stagnating around them are an open invitation to all diseases.

MOHAN SINGH

Address elephant in the room

With the increasing number of cases in the past few days, dengue has become very big issue in the state. The administration must act on a war-footing to stop the spread of the deadly disease. Public awareness must be done extensively by the authorities to inform people about the ways to stop the breeding of aedes mosquitoes. There might be a lot of garbage on the streets considering the festive season, which must be disposed off adequately by the MC. Dengue is a health emergency which must be eliminated by the efforts of both the authorities and citizens together.

JATINDERPAL SINGH BATTH

Review the availability of beds, medicines

Dengue has no doubt taken a number of people not just in Punjab, but also in other states of the country as well in its spate and the reasons behind its spread is not a mystery to the masses. While the growing rush of patients in the hospitals in Amritsar, coupled with the influx of those from other districts of Punjab and other states of India points to the availability of excellent health facilities here, it’s definitely not a matter of pride in the present circumstances. Dengue can prove to be fatal for those suffering from it, if left untreated. The district administration should review the availability of beds and infrastructure in all big and small hospitals in the city to ensure that no dengue patient is deprived of required medical aid besides turning unused government buildings and acquiring vacant private properties to turn them into clinics and nursing homes till the situation turns better.

Shaheen P Parshad

Systematic, concerted strategy needed

Dengue situation in the country is depressing, deplorable, gloomy and appalling. That is why the Health Ministry has decided to depute teams of experts in high burden states, including Punjab. All public and private hospitals in the district are burdened with dengue patients. The outbreak of dengue has claimed many lives and tens of thousands of infections have been reported from across the state exerting tremendous pressure on the fragile health infrastructure. Judging from it, it will not be wrong at all to say that we are heading towards another health emergency. Hence, the administration should handle the current situation with all its might. Therefore on ground initiatives like hotspot identification, fogging and timely treatment is required on priority basis to curb the disease. Repurposing Covid beds to treat dengue cases should be considered without wasting much time. There should be harmony between the Centre and states regarding to tackle the problem. Besides public and private health sectors should work in tandem to effectively tackle this health nemesis. Due to underfunding and understaffing, there is also inadequate public health infrastructure. This deficiency should be overcome making all out efforts. To restrain dengue, drastic measures such as greater involvement in preparing diagnostic centres and medical supplies should be undertaken. In addition to that, prompt case detection and appropriate clinical management along with initiation of intravenous rehydration can help reduce the mortality from severe dengue. Effective vector control is the mainstay of dengue prevention. It should not be neglected. Surveillance and improved reporting of dengue cases is also essential to gauge the true situation prevailing in the district. Moreover, dengue prevention and control depends on effective vector control measures and a sustained community involvement can improve vector control measures substantially. Hence a holistic approach to address the root cause and to ensure long term solution is required. Above all, a systematic and concerted strategy is needed that would incorporate all four broad components of the health system, namely services provision, resource creation, financing and governance. Last but not the least; people should be made health conscious by periodically holding awareness camps.

Tarsem S Bumrah

Aware public of causes & symptoms

The administration needs to reveal the list of areas were fogging was carried out. Creating an atmosphere of awareness against the dengue is not sufficient until and unless intensive fogging is also carried out in the city. As last year it was Covid-19 pandemic which had created atmosphere of fear among the masses and fogging was being carried out in large number in every area. As in the private hospitals the number of patients is increasing it is high time for the administration to prepare a road map for fogging in the entire city. Political leaders should refrain from issuing statements on this sensitive issue, especially the social organisations should come forward for financial assistance to those dengue patients who are daily bread earners and are not in a position to meet up the medical bills in private super specialist hospitals. Cleanliness drive at vulnerable places should be carried out by the administration and the social organisations. Yes, we are heading towards another health emergency due to the spread of dengue. As the health services in all the other states are also available, the patients cannot be refused treatment here. It will be better that respective states should take preventive measures and arrange medical services for the dengue patients.

Rajat Kumar Mohindru

Abstain from throwing garbage on roadsides

Cleanliness is the important for leading a healthy life. The dengue cases are on surge as the city is in deplorable condition and Municipal Corporation does not pay heed to the problem. The aedes mosquito which spreads dengue often grows in the filthy areas. The disease is spreading fast during the festival season. People are responsible for spreading garbage in the city and they don’t even think this will make a huge complication for them and their family. People shouldn’t do this and don’t let anyone to make city murky. If they do so, dengue cases will automatically go down.

Saahil Hans

Destroy mosquito breeding grounds

After the Covid-19 pandemic, the state is now confronted with the dengue outbreak which has remained a potential challenge every year since 1990s, courtesy increased urbanisation, climate changes and apathetic and indifferent attitude of government agencies. With the rush of dengue patients from places across Punjab and other states, the district health infrastructure is over-burdened. If government hospitals lack adequate medicines, medical staff and other facilities, the private hospitals and laboratories are fleecing patients for the tests and blood units. There is not much hope from the civic authorities also. There is neither any proper sanitation drive nor timely spray of insecticides and larvicides to destroy the mosquito breeding grounds such as garbage dumps, stagnant water places and unwanted growth of grass, weeds and bushes. In the face of apathetic and nonchalant approach of the health and civic authorities, the onus to prevent and check the spread of dengue is basically on the people. The government should at least create awareness about the importance of hygiene through print and electronic media. People should properly sanitise their homes, dispose of solid waste, cover and clean water containers, flower pots, coolers etc after the rainy season.

Tajpreet S Kang

Health infrastructure need of the hour

Dengue fever spreads by the bite of mosquito Aedes aegypti. There is no doubt that our hospitals and health facilities are not up to the mark to handle such emergencies as also seen during the Covid-19 pandemic. The hospitals are overwhelmed with patients suffering from dengue. Both the government and the public are to be blamed for the sorry state of affairs. The government should have made a of anti-mosquitoes chemicals in the cities and rural areas before the onset of the disease to nip the evil in the bed. The people should be made aware of the dangers of stagnating water in the streets or homes like in coolers or other utensils. As dengue is an annual calamity, both the government and the public should have been aware of the coming disaster. But that was not to be. The government hospitals lack the equipment to separate the platelets from the blood which is needed for the dengue patients. The government doesn’t spend much on health and education which many countries in south and south East Asia have done. Our Government also needs to emulate these countries.

JS Wadhwa

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