Delhi: The other malaria death that went ‘unreported’

With the arrival of monsoon in July, the capital reported a sudden spike in cases of dengue and chikungunya.

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | New Delhi | Published:September 8, 2016 5:00 am
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AFTER A four-year hiatus, life threatening parasitic disease malaria is back to haunt the capital. On Sunday, the capital reported the death of a 30-year-old man from East Delhi due to the disease. However, this was not the first malaria death in the capital this year.

With the arrival of monsoon in July, the capital reported a sudden spike in cases of dengue and chikungunya. Amid the commotion over these diseases, the death of 62-year-old Charan Singh went largely unnoticed. For over 30 years, Singh worked as a cashier at AIIMS. He succumbed to malaria on July 13.

Sunday’s death of Praveen Sharma might have triggered the MCD to suddenly start spraying, fogging and conducting a “fever survey” in the locality where he lived. But in West Jyoti Nagar Enclave in Shahdara, where Singh stayed, such swift action was still a distant dream.

The family claims it was only after “pressure from AIIMS” that MCD conducted insecticide spraying three days after Singh’s death. However, the MCD till date has never conducted any fever survey in the area, the family said.

Charan Singh’s elder son, 35-year old Satinder, blamed the MCD for the death. “For over a year, there has been no fumigation, fogging, or spraying. Even if a blind person comes here in the night, he can feel mosquitoes swarming at entrance of doors and windows,” Satinder said.

“The fumigation was just a token exercise,” says 30-year old Narender, Singh’s younger son. “My father’s death might not have been reported in the media, but the MCD knew about the malaria death in this area. However, in the last two months, there has been no action,” Narender adds.