The Kerala government is preparing to renew its health care when people return from flood camps. Photo: PTI
New Delhi: Kerala affected by floods has experienced a wave of infectious diseases because the administration struggles to prevent and limit it with weakened health care. In August alone, the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project of the state government registered 171 cases of leptospirosis with four deaths, against 46 cases with six deaths last August. Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that is mainly transmitted by water or soil contaminated by the urine of infected animals.
In the same way, the state saw 1,617 cases of chickenpox with one death in August, against zero cases throughout 2017. Also, while viral Hepatitis A infected 1044 and four swamped in August, there were only 988 cases throughout 2017.
From January to 1 September 2018 Kerala saw 788 cases of leptospirosis with 36 deaths, 21,915 chickenpox cases with 15 deaths and 141 cases of scrubtyphus with two deaths. In the same period last year there were 1,408 leptospirosis cases with 80 deaths and 340 scrubtyfus cases with five deaths.
"We are currently distributing Doxycycline tablets in flood-affected areas to prevent leptospirosis and we have created separate nursing units for chickenpox," said Minister K.K. Shailaja told Mint.
Kerala has 18 general hospitals, 16 district hospitals, 231 community health centers (CHC & # 39; s) and 682 primary health centers (PHCs). According to the health and family care department of the state, at least 481 PHCs, 137 CHC & # 39; s and 19 dispensaries were severely damaged by the floods, after which the state sought help from the health ministry of the Union. The healthcare system must adapt quickly when people return home in reception camps and seek medical attention.
"The damage caused by the flood is immeasurable.It is a huge task to rebuild everything The health department also suffered a lot of loss More than 10 hospitals and many subcentres were completely destroyed Many hospitals suffered partial loss Many hospital equipment was destroyed "said Shailaja.
"The government, together with the support of the people, is preparing projects to rebuild all of this, many people, organizations and institutions have promised help and if all this is done in the right way, the problem can be solved easily. to open 200 temporary hospitals to address health issues, "she said.
The state government is taking help from the private sector and has also sought help from other states. Teams of expert doctors have arrived from various states including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh with essential medicines. The central government has also sent an expert team and provided materials for environmental remediation.
"The operation of various government and private hospitals was severely affected by the heavy rainfall and flooding, many of whom have started to function and within two weeks they will all be in full swing," said Shailaja. "The availability of medicines, adequate service from doctors and nurses, chlorination of wells and other water sources, shifting people with communicable diseases to separate departments, etc."
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The National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has already warned about vector-borne diseases. "The recent flooding could indirectly lead to an increase in vector-borne illnesses by expanding the number and range of vector breeding habitats.Still water caused by heavy rainfall or flooding of rivers can act as a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and therefore the potential to improve the breeding of vectors of dengue, chikungunya, malaria, Japanese encephalitis, etc. Flooding can initially flush mosquito breeding, but it comes back when the water returns, "said a senior NCDC official Mint.