Heat wave taking a heavy toll

Heat wave taking a heavy toll
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Highlights

With souring temperatures in the 4 districts of erstwhile Mahbubnagar reaching more than 42-43 degrees during the past 10 days, the elderly people are becoming victims to sun stroke due to heat wave in the region. The health department in the district seems to be not initiating any programme to bring awareness among the public with regard to health problems due to heat wave and sun stroke. 

Many people, especially elderly persons, become victims to sun stroke due to heat wave in Mahbubnagar (formerly) district. As Health officials record low figures of deaths, relatives of several victims are deprived of compensation

Mahbubnagar: With souring temperatures in the 4 districts of erstwhile Mahbubnagar reaching more than 42-43 degrees during the past 10 days, the elderly people are becoming victims to sun stroke due to heat wave in the region. The health department in the district seems to be not initiating any programme to bring awareness among the public with regard to health problems due to heat wave and sun stroke.

For the past 10 days, people in the districts of Mahbubnagar, Wanaparthy, Jogulamaba Gadwal and Nagarkurnool are witnessing severe heat wave and at least 4 persons have succumbed to sun stroke. Majority of these victims are elderly people. According to reports, there were 18-20 deaths.

However, the Health Department recorded only 3 deaths due to sun stroke and they include Buddanna, aged 70 years, a native of Korivipadu village of Manavapadu mandal in Jogulamba Gadwal; Chennaiah, of Pipadu village of Shantinagar mandal; and 18 year-old Ramu, native of Utkoor mandal.

There are allegations against the Health Department officials that they are deliberately keeping the sun stroke deaths low to avoid payment of compensation. The officials’ attitude is causing lot of problems to the genuine victims of sun stroke as their family members are being deprived of the compensation they are entitled to receive from the government. In 2016, the authorities have recorded only 12 deaths as sun stroke related ones, while there were more than 300 deaths.

Similarly in 2015 and 2014 also the authorities reported only 12 and 10 deaths respectively relating to sun stroke while about 200 and 150 deaths were reported in the media. “The authorities are deliberately keeping the sun stroke deaths low to avoid compensation to the victims, ” said a relative of recently dead victim at Government hospital in Mahbubnagar.

Not just depriving them of compensation, the Health Departments in Jogulamba Gadwal, Mahabubnagar, Wanaparthy and Nagarkurnool have not taken any steps to create awareness among the MGNREGA workers who do hard labour in the hot summer. Recently an MGNREGA worker in Wanaparthy district lost consciousness and was declared brought dead by the time he reached the hospital.

When contacted with Bhaskar, DRO, Mahbubnagar, said the government is taking all steps to identify the deaths due to sun stroke. A committee comprising Tahasildar, officials from police and medical departments is formed. “Based on the committee report we are identifying sun stroke deaths. We have adequate funds under Apadbandhu scheme. Where the family members of the victims will be given Rs. 50,000,” said the DRO.

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