Monsoon adds to Kerala's ailments; viral fever cases on the rise

A day after the southwest monsoon hit the Kerala coast, the rains are adding to the woes of the state in the form of a rising number of viral fever cases.

However, the non-cooperation strike initiated by doctors in government hospitals, which had also hit health services, was called off after an assurance from the state government that the medicos’ demands would be heard and addressed.

The decision was taken after a meeting between the doctors and Health Minister V S Sivakumar.

On the disease front, the State Health Department has put the figure of reported dengue cases in excess of 1,000. The actual figure could be more than double the official number.

More than 10 cases of dengue have been reported in Thiruvananthapuram over the past couple of days, and even deaths have occurred due to the disease. The total number of deaths due to various forms of fever, reported officially, has crossed 80.

With the daily figure of people seeking treatment for fever hovering around 700-800 in the districts of Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Ernakulam, the inadequate number of physicians has come as a blow to patients. Concerns have been raised over the shortage of doctors in taluk hospitals and dispensaries in coastal areas.

The scare is palpable in other parts of the state as well. In the northern district of Malappuram, around five dengue cases have been reported over the past two days. Kottayam, Kannur, Kasaragod, Wayanad and Kozhikode have also recorded fresh dengue cases over the weekend.

Meanwhile, even as the doctors’ strike prolonged on Sunday before it was ultimately called off, there were reports that many government hospitals were also struggling with inadequate number of support stuff, including laboratory technicians.

The Health Department, while putting together strategies to fight the outbreak of diseases, has also been calling for greater care in garbage disposal and personal hygiene.

The Health Ministry has called for a high-level meeting on Monday, wherein senior health services officials are expected to come together and formulate an action plan.
Pinarayi slams services

CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday said that the quality of health services in the state, in the face of threat of serious ailments, has hit a new low. Speaking at a programme on Kerala’s development and public health, he also called out for a quick response from the government in addressing the striking doctors’ demands and ensuring a resolution to the issue.

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