War against dengue rages on in south Delhi

War against dengue rages on in south Delhi

Bharti queued up with her five-year-old daughter Sonakshi at the Delhi government dispensary in south Delhi’s Kalkaji slightly after 10.15 am on Tuesday.

Bharti, a resident of Giri Nagar, brought her daughter to the centre after learning on TV the dispensary will now double as “fever clinics”.

As a single doctor checked patients at Room No 1 – which is now also the fever clinic – Bharti remained sceptical if her daughter will get proper treatment for the “dengue symptoms” she is showing. “I will wait for a day or take her to a private clinic.”
The Delhi government opened 55 fever clinics in its existing dispensaries which will be open from 7 am to 9 pm, including Sundays. The official dengue figures has touched almost 3,000 this season.

Another death was reported from Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital with a14-year-old boy succumbing to the infection on Monday.

The government had announced the dispensaries will also conduct platelet tests Tuesday onwards. However, the dispensaries have not got additional manpower even though the rush has increased since the first week of September.

“We are seeing at least 100-110 fever patients daily. The number of doctors remains the same as before,” said a doctor at the fever clinic. With the fever clinics now open till 9pm, the cases are likely to double. Geeta Devi, a resident of Navjeevan Camp, came with her three grandchildren all of whom are suffering from high fever.
“We are panic stricken that it might be dengue,” said Devi. 

Two second year MBBS students of Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) were helping out the doctors by recording the patient details and alerting patients on dengue symptoms. “We have got a checklist of the dengue symptoms based on which we will judge if the patient is suffering from suspected dengue infection,” said a medical student posted at the site.

On Monday, 35 patients were tested for platelet count, said a laboratory technician. On Tuesday, till 5 pm, over 30 patients were checked for the platelet count. The cases which cannot be managed at the dispensary level will be referred to the major hospitals.

With shortage of manpower, several patients were clueless whom to approach for the “platelet test” mentioned on prescriptions. Several major hospitals have reshuffled staff and withdrew staff from the dispensaries to boost manpower at the respective hospitals.

Even though Roshana’s 10-year-old son’s prescription showed “fever, vomiting, bodyache” with a platelet test prescribed, she had little idea where to go. “The doctor never told us the test would be conducted at the dispensary. I kept waiting for around 45 minutes not realising whom to approach. There are no clear instructions,” said Roshanara.

A few patients pointed out a single doctor manning so many fever cases cannot be blamed. The dispensary was found to be in shabby condition with stagnant water in some pockets.

“I come here as I cannot afford the treatment of my four children in private. Most of the medicines prescribed by the doctor are not available at the dispensary,” said Nitu, a resident of Bhoomi Camp.

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