Heart attacks, malaria more fatal for CRPF personnel than Naxals

Heart attacks, malaria more fatal for CRPF personnel than Naxals

Naxal attacks may have accounted for the deaths of 50 CRPF personnel in 2014 in various naxal affected districts of the country but close to double that number succumb to various diseases.

According to the latest government data, 27 succumbed to malaria while a further 35 died due to heart attack in 2014 and of the eleven personnel who died to 2015, only two were killed by naxals. 

The information brings to fore the poor working conditions for CRPF jawans fighting naxals in the jungles of Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar.

A CRPF officer who recently served in Sukma, Chhattisgarh was quoted in Times of India as saying, "At camps in the jungles, there are just a few constables trained in first aid and armed with malaria detection kit. Several times they fail to diagnose correctly as strains such as falciparum malaria do not always come with high fever. By the time the personnel falls seriously sick, it is too late as evacuation from the camp alone takes about two days." 

Another major reason is the tough working conditions that the personnel work in patrolling vast stretches of forest and the lack of leave or rest days afforded to them to recuperate.

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