THE STATE health department has pressed into service 570 medical teams in Sangli and Kolhapur districts, with the primary aim to distribute diabetes and hypertension medicines, among other drugs, to prevent water-borne infections.
With lakhs evacuated from homes without their daily pills when parts of western Maharashtra were flooded, health workers are scouting for patients to provide them with their daily dose of medicines.
The government has earmarked Rs 75 crore for health facilities in these flood-hit areas. State Health Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas said that instructions have been issued to health posts to buy medicines locally if stock runs out in government centres. Health workers are issuing advisories to flood-affected families to use chlorine tablets in drinking water that are being freely distributed.
Health Minister Eknath Shinde, who has been camping in the flood-affected area since last week, said the immediate concern is of the outbreak of diarrhoea and vector-borne diseases. Dr Rajan Naringrekar, insecticide head in BMC, said a herculean task of killing mosquito breeding sites lies ahead as water recedes. “The water is receding very slowly,” he said.
Twenty-two insecticide officers from BMC, besides from other municipal corporations, are conducting larvae inspections in areas that have retained water. Larger water bodies, where Anopheles mosquito (carrier of malaria) breeds, are also being inspected. The BMC has found 66 mosquito breeding site in Sangli and Kolhapur on Monday.
The flood has left a huge number of cattle dead. “We are spraying an anti-fly on decaying cattle and garbage to prevent transmission of gastroenteritis, diarrhoea and typhoid,” Naringrekar said.