Kerala, which is hailed for its health indicators, has reported about 12 lakh confirmed fever cases and 111 deaths from various types of fevers till June 17 this year.
On Sunday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged people of the state to embark on a massive cleanliness drive. “The government has been making earnest efforts for waste management. But that effort has not succeeded and this is evident from the outbreak of communicable diseases,” said Vijayan, adding that only effective disposal of waste and vector-control measures can contain the outbreak.
After meeting the Chief Minister over the prevailing health situation, Leader of Opposition in Assembly Ramesh Chennithala asked legislators and other elected representatives to lead cleanliness drives in areas under their jurisdiction. “The government has failed to contain the outbreak of communicable diseases. A health emergency should be declared,” he told mediapersons.
According to the Kerala Health Services data on communicable diseases, the state has reported 12 lakh confirmed cases of fever this year. Dengue fever and H1N1 accounted for 13 and 53 deaths, respectively, the data revealed.
Of the 14 districts in the state, capital Thiruvananthapuram accounts for a major chunk of the dengue cases. Director of Health Services Dr R L Saritha said the number of actual cases of fever and other diseases would be more than what is reported as all private hospitals do not furnish data. “Several doctors have private clinics where people seek treatment. These clinics do not furnish any data,” she added.
Dr Saritha said that while a spurt in cases of communicable diseases is generally seen during the monsoon, the number of dengue cases went up this year due to changes in the climate pattern. The drought was followed by spells of rain, which created a breeding ground for mosquitoes, she said, adding that the intermittent summer rain further contributed to this.
“The health department has identified dengue hotspots in all districts. We are analysing why dengue and H1N1 cases were reported in some specific areas,” she said.