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Press Release

The Times of India News Service



Hazaribagh still in grip of malaria epidemic

DATELINE: 4 December 1999

BYLINE: The Times of India News Service

HAZARIBAGH: Despite claims by the district administration that malaria, which broke out in edpidemic form in more than 2000 villages of 14 blocks of Hazaribagh district, had been controlled, an investigation done found that the epidemic was yet to be controlled and more than 1500 fresh cases are still pouring in at various camps and hospitals of the district.

Even in Hazaribagh town, there have been reports of malaria cases pouring in at the various nursing homes and clinics run by private doctors.

These fresh arrivals have disproved the claims of the district administrtion. Dr R N Sahay in an interview with this correspondent, said that from the 31,000 patients suffering from malaria, 25,000 blood slides have been collected by technicians at various points. About 11,529 slides were examined, of which 1618 cases were found to be positive out of which only 1529 patients have been treated. The patients who succumbed included a doctor who was in charge of a camp in kerdari block.

When his attention was drawn towards the reports submitted by various political parties and NGOs at a meeting addressed by Mr Shyam Rajak, the Bihar minister of state for energy who is also the minister incharge of Hazaribagh district that the claims of the district administration was wrong and more than 90,000 patients were suffering from malaria and more than 300 patients have so far died, Dr R N Sahay alleged tthat the claims were wrong, adding AIDS and Hepatitis B deaths in the district have also been included in the list of malaria deaths for fear of creating panic. Interestingly, this admission of the district administration not being able to control AIDS and Hepatitis B cases have been an eye opener.

But the civil surgeon admitted that the malaria epidemic broke out in the district in an epidemic form mainly due to gross negligence on the part of district malaria officer who inspite of availabilitty of anti-malaria drugs and DDT sufficient at her disposal, did not take tangible steps to distribute the same in the malaria infested areas of the district.

The civil surgeon said that the district administration swung into action only when they received reports of large-scale deaths in Giddi colliery of CCL in Churchu block and in Chouparan. He said that in Hazaribagh disrict in all 21 camps are functioning for treating the malaria patients and providing them on-the-spot treatment.

The worst affected areas are Churchu, Patratu, Gola, Chouparan, Ramgarh, Barkatha, Barkagaon and Keredari blocks of the district. A high-level medical team headed by an senior doctor from Delhi visited the affected areas and confirmed that in Hazaribagh disrict most of cases found were suffering from either cerebral malaria or malignant malaria.

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