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Encephalitis cases in Allahabad on the rise
The city appeals to the new District Magistrate, Mr. Rajshekhar, to whip the sleepy Health Department into action and ask them to carry out fogging of insecticide on a massive scale to destroy the mosquitoes which have already started playing havoc in the district.

FOR THE last few years we have been hearing with sickening monotony the same excuses, with slight variation, year after year, to suggest that public outcry is based on rumours and that all is well on the health scene. Regular and massive fogging has deliberately been avoided for the past several years. Sometimes they say that fogging machines are not in working order, sometimes they say that the fogging machines have been sent to Gorakhpur or elsewhere in eastern UP as their need is greater and some- times they say they have no funds.

Sometimes, they also tell a blatant lie that fogging is being carried out though there is no trace of the same. It is Paper Fogging-recorded on paper only. At times they also claim that no malaria or encephalitis case has occurred in the city and that all patients admitted in local hospitals are from outside. The bitter truth is that there has already been a death from dengue in a private hospital. But before I come to that, I would like to tell the DM that since our roads are in a mess and most of them are hardly accessible, he should consider the feasibility of ordering fogging by air from helicopters.

The Health authorities are not doing so because they know that unless they do the fogging, no one will believe them as fogging by air will be visible to all.And now let me mention that viral and malarial encephalitis is raging in the city; and the sharp rise in the mosquito population following heavy rains has aggravated the situation. Children suffering from brain fever are being rushed to the Sarojini Naidu Children Hospital, some dying within half an hour of their admission and some brought even dead. The Superintendent of Children Hospital and Child Specialist, Dr P.C. Mishra, has been quoted saying that during the last one month four to six children suffering from encephalitis are being brought to the hospital daily. He has also revealed that within the last four to five weeks, a dozen tiny-tots have lost their lives.

The same is true of Beli Hospital too from where at least 10 serious cases were referred to the Children's Hospital. Most of them were said to be suffering from viral encephalitis. Malaria too has invaded the city in a big way. When malaria reaches the brain it turns into cerebral malaria which is very dangerous and deadly. Doctors warn that malaria cases are on the rise because of the uncontrolled, unchecked and fast growth of mosquitoes.

There is no record of the number of malaria, cerebral malaria and viral encephalitis cases reaching private hospitals or nursing homes or attended to by private practitioners. But the number could be frighteningly large because many people just don?t go to Government hospitals where their invariable complaint is that the patients ever in serious and critical condition are not taken care of. Sometimes they are even thrown out they plead for prompt attention in acute pain. In private hospitals they may have to pay more but their chances of survival, are brighter.

One guardian, who has the experience of The Children Hospital, says that when there is bed shortage, the doctors dump four or five, sometimes even six children on the same bed. This could lead to the spread of infection from the seriously-ill child to a kid in less critical condition.It may be true that patients are brought to hospitals when their condition becomes highly critical. There are reasons for this. Hospitals are far off. Parents are not sure whether they will? be able to reach there in time or whether, on reaching there, the child would be admitted or not.

Our village health centers are hardly able to render any significant help because doctors, supposed to be present there are hardly seen on the rounds. That is the bitter reality whether the top functionaries, like it or not.Malaria, dengue, encephalitis, brain fever and other mosquito-borne diseases are a direct result of the utter negligence of the Health authorities who have shown utter contempt for the people?s welfare. Well, I agree with him. While people should be on their guard, the DM should personally intervene to save the city from landing into an unhealthy zone of disaster The DM must order immediate fogging by air.

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