Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, April 26
The father of a patient who died of dengue years ago, pursued the case of negligence in his son's death case for many years and in the course of his fight, chanced upon the fact that dengue and malaria figures in the district were considerably muted.
There have been a number of 'unconfirmed' dengue deaths in the district from dengue in the district in the past three years, but the toll has been very high and confessed to be so by the district officials as well during the peak of the outbreak.
With the season for dengue approaching, The Tribune looks into the dengue and malaria stats of the health department and the efforts envisioned this year to prevent a possible outbreak in the future — even though these religiously come in every year as soon as the mosquito breeding season starts.
Health statsistics show a marginal decline in the cases of malaria in the district over the years even though dengue cases have dramatically risen.
The most dramatic scenes are witnessed during the dengue outbreaks when the civil hospital wards brim over with patients who lie on ward beds, bring in their own cots and even occupy the corridors generously converting them into open wards.
Official stats say in the past three years, 72 cases of dengue have been tested positive in the district. In 2012, 30 (positive) cases of dengue were reported, in 2013, 12 and in 2014, 32.
Meanwhile, malaria cases have seen a slight decline. In the past three years, there have been 96 malaria cases in the district. While there were 54 malaria cases in the year 2012, there were 32 malaria cases in 2013 and last year only 10 malaria cases were 'officially' reported in the district.
Both the dengue deaths reported in the district in 2013 and one (of the two) in 2014, were termed to be 'unconfirmed' cases by the civil surgeon.
Notably, experts say these stats do not take into account the deaths at private hospitals, majority of which are never reported.
While the Civil Surgeon Dr RL Bassan said, "In the past two years, the cases of Dengue and Malaria in the district have seen a considerable decline. Both the kinds of cases have seen a steady decrease and efforts are on that the cases are brought even lower than before. While the prevention efforts start in the months of June and July, as soon as reports of standing water are reported from various areas, fogging and dengue as well as Malaria prevention efforts begin."