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BMC, hospitals set to fight malaria this monsoon

Although malaria cases in the city have dropped by almost 60 per cent for the period of January to May as compared to the same period last year, this monsoon, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will also survey abandoned buildings in addition to under-construction sites to keep a check on the spread of the disease.


A BMC worker carries out fogging at Parel ahead of body’s drive to control malaria and dengue during the monsoons last year

According to Additional Municipal Commissioner (Health) Manisha Mhaisakar, “There has been a 50 per cent drop in cases from 2010-11. Over 6,000 cases of malaria have been recorded in the city from January to May. This shows a reduction of almost 60 per cent as compared to the same period last year.

This time we will also conduct 100 health camps across the city.” A BMC official from the health department added, on condition of anonymity, that as soon as cases of jaundice and gastroenteritis are reported at any of the civic hospitals, hydraulic engineers will be directed to the locality where the patients reside, to repair any leakage.

Of 2,622 construction sites, civic officials have visited 2,078. They found water stagnation and vector breeding at 619 buildings, of which 600 have been cleared. This year, the BMC has marked G South ward, E ward and K East ward as critical malaria-prone areas in the city. Six thousand posters have been distributed and an awareness campaign will be conducted across 1,38,000 buildings in the city.

“Data for 2012 shows a positive trend, with 6,762 cases of malaria registered in five months, as compared to 21,366 cases for the same time duration, last year. There was a 48 per cent decline in 2011, with 39,822 cases registered as compared to 76,755 cases in 2010. We hope to tackle malaria successfully this year as well,” said Dr Mangala Gomade, head of epidemiology, BMC.

Hospitals ready
City hospitals say they are ready to combat an outbreak, if it happens. At KEM Hospital, Lower Parel, AMO Dr Pravin Bangar said that no cases of malaria or dengue have come in so far. While part of the ground floor in the old building continues to undergo renovation, an OPD is scheduled to be set up on Monday to provide treatment for monsoon-related illnesses.

One hundred and eighty, 120, 140 and 590 beds have been set up for malaria and dengue cases in KEM, Nair, Sion and Kasturba Hospital, respectively. There are 2,147 beds at the other 16 peripheral hospitals of the BMC in the city.

While the malaria menace has started to blanket the Chembur suburbs, it is yet to become a peril in areas like Ghatkopar and Sion. The medical superintendent of Rajawadi Hospital, Dr Shubhash Poyekar, said, “Our hospital has not yet registered an outbreak of malaria cases.

Being a malaria-endemic region, receiving 10-12 cases a day is a regular trend in the monsoon.” Dr Rajeev Singh, AMO, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, Sion, added, “The monsoon has just hit the city. Cases of malaria will increase soon.”

Reality bites
6,762 cases of malaria have been registered in five months, as compared to 21,366 cases for the same period last year. There was a 48 per cent decline in 2011, with 39,822 cases registered as compared to 76,755 cases in 2010

With inputs from Rinkita Gurav, Aditya Hariharan, Anuradha Varanasi & Veda Ramaswamy 

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