A report released on ‘The State of Health in Delhi’ hints at gross under-reporting of dengue and malaria cases in the capital. The report has suggested that actual cases of the vector-borne disease is 20 times more than what the civic bodies have currently reported.
“The information received under the RTI Act from various government institutions shows that dengue and malaria cases in Delhi were 7,153 and 4,205 respectively between April 2017 and March 2018. Our survey data across 12 zones of Delhi showed that the cases of dengue were as high as 1,06,456 and of malaria were 1,26,334,” the report released by Praja Foundation stated. The report further stated that the civil line zone is the most affected, with 1,097 cases of dengue.
The weekly report released by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Monday claimed 290 fresh cases of dengue reported in this week, taking the total confirmed cases to 1,310. “There is an urgent need to overhaul the entire system of confirming the cases of vector-borne diseases,” said Milind Mhaske, director, Praja Foundation.
According to the official process, once a hospital receives a suspected case of dengue, the patient is required to get an NS1 antigen test. If the test comes out to be positive, the report is sent to the municipal corporation that adds the details in its records. The record is further maintained to carry out the treatment of the patient.
“There are many loopholes in the reporting process of municipal corporation. There are many private practitioners and nursing clinics which are still not reporting cases and no one is keeping a check on them. Many a times, the MCD local inspectors try to suppress the cases and tell the hospitals not to report the cases. Clearly, the cases which are reported by the civic authorities give a false impression of the actual situation,” said Dr VK Monga, former chairman of MCD’s health department. Monga headed the department from 2007-2012.