Malaria under control,dengue,TB the challenge

Mumbai seems to have managed to ‘fight the bite’ over the past two years and control malaria to an extent but dengue and tuberculosis have raised their ugly head.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: July 30, 2013 1:04 am

Mumbai seems to have managed to ‘fight the bite’ over the past two years and control malaria to an extent but dengue and tuberculosis have raised their ugly head.

A ‘white paper on health’ released by non-profit organisation Praja Foundation Monday claimed dengue cases had increased seven times,from a low of 682 in 2008-09 to 4,876 in 2012-13,killing 74 people during 2012-13,three times more than 2008-09. Dengue is also caused by mosquitoes but unlike malaria,it is as prevalent in urban areas as in rural.

BMC launched a ‘dengue proof your house’ campaign on July 17 to spread awareness. The campaign aims to visit 90,000 societies this year and educate people on simple ways to prevent breeding of the aedes mosquito. About 800 societies have been approached so far.

Tuberculosis is the biggest killer in Mumbai. According to Praja,39,531 people succumbed to the disease in the past five years. The number of cases rose by almost 19 per cent to 36,417 in 2012-13 but deaths fell from 7,041 the previous year to 6,921.

Sewree TB Hospital medical superintendent Rajendra Nanaware said,“The increase in the number of cases is also due to poor hygiene in slums.”

BMC health officer for TB Minni Khetarpal has a different explanation. She said the number of cases was higher because of improved diagnosis.

“In the last one year,30 diagnosis microscopy centres have been started. Even our outreach staff has increased.”

The number of malaria cases has declined sharply from 78,449 in 2010-11 to 21,939 in 2012-13.

Nitai Mehta,Managing Trustee at Praja,said,“The data have been gathered from municipal dispensaries,hospitals,state government dispensaries and healthcare centres. Figures from private healthcare centres are absent. The actual count is very high.”

Also a matter of concern is the increase in number of deaths due to cholera. After reporting three deaths in the preceding two years,cholera claimed nine in 2012-13.

The number of cholera cases too increased to 198 in 2012-13 from 178 the previous year.

Mangala Gomare,deputy chief health officer at BMC,said,“Every year,BMC organises monsoon camps for water-borne diseases. We spread awareness about cholera,typhoid,malaria and fever. People need to follow better hygienic practices.”

The maximum number of cases so far has been recorded in Andheri East (K East Ward).

Of the 24 municipal wards,K East has shown the highest number of cases of malaria,dengue and TB,while Kurla West (L Ward) has shown the highest incidence of diarrhoea.

Milind Mhaske,Praja project director,said,“Potable water supply needs urgent attention. Andheri East reported 6,600 cases of diarrhoea and Kurla West close to 12,000.”

Till now,Andheri East has recorded 7,375 TB cases in the past five years,the highest among all wards. Matunga came next with 5,427.

In 2012-13,F South Ward (Parel) reported the highest number of cases of malaria (846) and R South Ward (Kandivali) recorded 2,420 cases of diabetes.

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