After cholera, malaria hits Orissa district

September 20th, 2010 - 5:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bhubaneswar, Sep 20 (IANS) There has been a sudden increase in the number of malaria cases in Orissa’s Rayagada district, where cholera and other water-borne diseases have claimed over 40 lives since August, a senior official said Monday.

“Malaria patients have increased in the last few weeks,” District Collector N.B. Jawale told IANS.

He said five to six suspected malaria cases were being reported every day from all the 22 health camps and centres set up by the administration in the district to tackle cholera and diarrhoea.

“Most of the people coming to the centres have high fever,” Jawale said.

According to the 2001 census, the Rayagada district, some 390 km from here, has a population of about 823,000 people.

Cholera and other water-borne diseases have claimed 41 lives and infected over 1,500 people in all the 11 blocks of the district.

Jawale said the number of cholera and diarrhoea patients has now gone down.

“Earlier, 30 to 40 cases of diarrhoea and cholera were being reported from each health centre and camp. This has come down to two-three,” he said.

“The new threat is malaria now,” Jawale said, adding that the administration has deployed more than 40 doctors and more than a hundred health officials to deal with the situation.

A state health official said at least 15 people died of malaria in Rayagada district since January this year.

He said blood samples of at least 33,398 people were tested in July this year and 5,419 tested positive for malaria. The official said five people died of the disease that month.

In August, blood samples of 34,529 people were tested and 7,122 tested positive. Four people died of malaria in August, he said.

Jual Oram, the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state unit, who is on a tour to the affected area, said the number of deaths due to cholera and other water borne diseases was much more.

“The deaths would have been more than 150. Several new villages are under the grip of the diseases. The situation is alarming,” he told IANS from Rayagada.

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