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Don’t compare apples with bananas,says PCMC chief

The medical team of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation,which has been under fire in the twin industrial township over rising dengue and malaria cases...

Written by MANOJ MORE | Pune |
August 2, 2009 5:32:25 am

The medical team of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation,which has been under fire in the twin industrial township over rising dengue and malaria cases,has now come under attack from the Central Government. A team of medical experts from Union Health Ministry which on Friday rushed to Pune to assess the situation in view of the rising swine flu cases pulled up the PCMC medical team for failing to curb the rising dengue cases in Pimpri-Chinchwad. For last two years,Pune Newsline has been consistently highlighting the rising dengue and malaria and the lack of effective action from PCMC administration in meeting the situation.

At the meeting,R S Sharma,joint director of National Vector-Borne Diseases Control Programme,Union Health Ministry,expressed “shock” at the soaring dengue cases in Pimpri-Chinchwad compared to the jurisdiction of other civic bodies like the Pune Municipal Corporation.

Quoting the figure of dengue cases as 78,Sharma asked the PCMC as to why effective steps were not being taken to curb the aedis egyptia mosquito menace. At the meeting,it was also reported that Pune district has 122 cases.

In reality,Pimpri-Chinchwad itself has seen 168 dengue cases in the month of July alone. And from January to July 31,314 citizens have been affected by dengue. Similarly,in July as many as 182 persons were affected by malaria.

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And since January to July 431 malaria cases have surfaced. PCMC officials said had Union Health officials come across these cases,they would have been doubly shocked.

The Union Health officials directed the PCMC to appoint more staff for carrying out spraying activity. Municipal Commissioner Asheesh Sharma and PCMC medical director Dr Rajshekhar Iyer said they had already initiated the steps and the process of appointing the required number of people would be completed soon.

The PCMC chief however rushed to the defence of his medical team. Denying that there was any laxity in tackling dengue and malaria cases,Sharma told Union Health officials that Pimpri-Chinchwad had better surveillance system and that is the reason why it had higher detection rate. Sharma reportedly said at the meeting that the Union Health officials should not compare “apples with bananas” which offiicals said meant that Pimpri-Chinchwad’s surveillance system should not be compared with lack of it in Pune Municipal Corporation. When contacted,Sharma however said,”What I meant was some civic bodies had government figures while others projected private figures. We have both through our surveillance system. So government figures should be compared with government figures and likewise,then the true picture will emerge.” Dr Iyer said the situation was not as alarming as was being made out to be. “Other cities like Thane,Nashik,Aurangabad apparently don’t have system that we have. That’s why their detection rate is poor,” he said.

After Pune city where swine flu cases have been on the rise,it is now the turn of Pimpri-Chinchwad to face the swine flu reality. Two students from Vidya Valley school located in Sus have been detected with swine flu. Residents of Pimple Saudagar in Pimpri-Chinchwad,both of them have been admitted to Aundh General Hospital. PCMC medical director Dr Rajshekhar Iyer said both the students’ parents have been quarantined at home. “We have now initiated contact survelliance to find out people who came in contact with these two students,” said Dr Iyer.

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