DH IMPACT | Heads roll over KFD outbreak in state

Reporting on the KFD outbreak across Malnad districts, DH published an insight story ‘Govt dithers as monkey fever epidemic spreads’ on Sunday besides reporting on various facets of the outbreak and fever psychosis gripping the Malnad districts.

Heads have begun to roll in the state Health Department over the outbreak of dreaded epidemic Kysanur Forest Disease (KFD) that claimed eight lives in Malnad districts.

Citing dereliction of duty in containing the spread of the disease, the Health and Family Welfare Department on Tuesday ordered the suspension of two top officials in Shivamogga, including the District Health Officer (DHO), with immediate effect.

Pankaj Kumar Pandey, commissioner, health and family welfare (H&FW) department, confirmed to DH that the government has suspended two officials—Dr BC Venkatesh, DHO, Shivamogga, and Dr Ravikumar, Deputy Director of Viral Diagnostic Laboratory- on charges of dereliction of duty.

According to the suspension order, a copy of which is with DH, the commissioner of H&FW said that the DHO has failed to take measures to control the spread of KFD in the district, resulting in deaths.

Officials in the department revealed to DH that the district officials failed to put in place precautionary measures to contain the outbreak and lacked coordination with the headquarters.

In yet another order, the department cited that Ravikumar failed to hand over charge to the district surveillance officer.

“Despite the department’s direction to hand over the charge to Dr Shankarappa and report at the headquarters, Dr Ravikumar failed to comply with the directions and thus prompting the department to order suspension,” the order said.

Reporting on the KFD outbreak across Malnad districts, DH published an insight story ‘Govt dithers as monkey fever epidemic spreads’ on Sunday besides reporting on various facets of the outbreak and fever psychosis gripping the Malnad districts. Ordering the suspension, the department has also transferred Dr Rajesh Suragihalli, DHO of Kodagu, to Shivamogga.

“Dr Rajesh has worked relentlessly addressing health woes during the recent catastrophe in Kodagu and he has been posted in Shivamogga while the district surgeon Dr K Jagadish has been given the additional charge,” a top official of the department said.
It can be recalled that as many as eight people had died due to KFD in less than two months and 63 people tested positive. Several taluks in Shivamogga, Udupi, Uttara Kannada and Dakshina Kannada districts have witnessed the outbreak.

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DH IMPACT | Heads roll over KFD outbreak in state

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