Hyderabad: While admitting that proper relief and medicines had not reached the Agency areas and some mandals in Visakhapatnam where an unidentified disease has claimed at least 59 lives in the past three months, Health and Medical Education Minister DL Ravindra Reddy on Monday said that efforts are on to control the mosquito menace in the region.
Dr Ravindra Reddy denied before media persons at the state Secretariat that there was a malarial epidemic as reported in a section of the press, but admitted that there was one death due to Malaria and 58 deaths reported in a span of two and a half months were due to some other diseases.
“The World Bank has been giving aid to the Centre which supplied a powerful synthetic spray – ‘pyrethroid’ to be used for killing the mosquitoes,” the Health Minister revealed.
In addition to this, the Centre also supplied mosquito nets to the poor, he added. “The district Collector has been told to dispatch medical teams to interior areas and it was also made mandatory to visit the agency areas,” Dr Ravindra Reddy stated.
The Minister clarified that he had toured the Visakhapatnam agency areas on July 9 and 10, despite a warning from the officials concerned.
“Such is the condition of the Agency areas including 11 Mandals in Visakhapatnam district that a warning has been issued,” Dr Ravindra Reddy pointed out.
He clarified that due to communication gap, the relief or medicine did not reach the victims.
In the 3500 habitations, Community Health Workers were working but due to no pay for the last 14 months their functioning was stalled, he admitted. “The government has released Rs 75 lakh on July 8,” the Minister said.
Under Lothugadda police station in the Visakhapatanam district, two patients shared a bed the Minister disclosed that said that more funds would be allotted for increasing the infrastructure in consultation with Tribal Welfare Minister Pasupulaet Balaraju.
The situation was not alarming as Malaria was under control and the drug was being used to check the Malarial parasite ‘plasmodium falciporum’.
He also made clear that if the doctors are vigilant, they can control the malaria even in the eleventh hour.
“In Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam, the incidence of malaria was there due to large number of slums,” the Minister said.(INN)