‘Special surveillance drive against dengue ensured there was no death in Theur’

Thirty-year-old daily wage labourer Keshav Chavan at Theur,40 km from Pune,hates to store water in containers for more than four to five days.

Written by Anuradha Mascharenhas | Pune | Published: October 13, 2013 2:59:53 am

Thirty-year-old daily wage labourer Keshav Chavan at Theur,40 km from Pune,hates to store water in containers for more than four to five days. “Daasancha praman vadu shakto (mosquitoes can breed and increase ),” says Chavan who has just recovered from dengue fever. Chavan’s wife Kavita too caught the infection and had to be admitted to Kunjirwadi Primary Health Centre,8 km away from Theur where dengue outbreak occurred.

It was for the first time that medical aid was provided at Sakharam Nagar in Theur.

“My 14-year-old son Arvind had high fever and complained of vomiting and headache. He was admitted at Kunjirwadi for four days and later shifted to Theur. It has been a trying time but at least we did not have to go all the way to Pune,”said Tukaram Kamble,who runs a small hotel and resides in Sakharam Nagar.

Dr Nilima Inamdar,medical officer,Kunjirwadi Primary Health Centre,said,“As of now,no new cases have been reported. It was an action filled fortnight when dengue outbreak was registered at Theur on September 16.”

While the outbreak has now been contained with fogging and immediate symptomatic treatment,it was for the first time that Pune district health officials launched a special surveillance drive for dengue that involved 96 primary health centres and 24 rural hospitals. Under the drive,as many as 3,000 samples of suspected dengue cases were collected between July and September.

“We did not refer a single patient to Sassoon General Hospital in Pune,” said Inamdar.

A total of 44 patients were detected with dengue after blood samples of several people were collected and tested on the spot. The officers also involved 13 employees from six primary health centres and three supervisors who surveyed 1,568 houses within a week and identified breeding sites for the aedes aegypti mosquito.

“It was not possible to send samples to B J Medical College as we would get test reports only after two-three days. So funds were procured from the patients’ welfare committee and NS1 Antigen kits were purchased to test samples for dengue infection. Dip in platelet count is an important indicator of how severe dengue infection can be and haemogram tests were outsourced from a private laboratory,” said Inamdar.

Dr V H Mohite,District Epidemiologist,said,“As part of the surveillance,serum samples were sent for testing at BJ Medical College. The impact of the drive was such that a dengue outbreak at Theur with a population of 10,000 was immediately reported and action taken ensured there was no mortality.”

Dr N D Deshmukh,district health officer,who launched the drive,said a rapid survey for fever cases,vector surveillance and preventive measures helped identify 261 cases of dengue in just three months. In July,of the 522 samples collected,69 were tested positive for dengue. Of the 1,012 samples,92 tested positive in August and 100 out of 1,070 samples tested positive in September. “We are now trying to involve the private practitioners as well to report cases of dengue,” said Deshmukh.

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