Government Grapples With Spurt in Dengue Cases: Health emergency?

Government Grapples With Spurt in Dengue Cases: Health emergency?
Left Photo by: G Shyam Kumar; Right Photo by: Srinivas Mucharala

  • Ever-rising number of cases of dengue and fast spreading viral fevers in Telangana has pushed the state into a sort of health emergency.
  • Patients face severe hardships at the Mahabubabad Government Hospital. Many patients are lying on the floor due to lack of beds at the hospital.
  • Doctors treating patients while they lie on the floor due to non-availability of beds at the Nalgonda Government Hospital.

Hyderabad: Ever-rising number of cases of dengue and fast spreading viral fevers in Telangana has pushed the state into a sort of health emergency.

While ministers and officials are trying to underplay the issue, the fact remains that district hospitals as well as hospitals in Hyderabad are being flooded with patients with dengue and viral fevers.

Most patients complain of fever, body pain and severe cold and cough.

Though all cases may not be dengue, but even the number of cases that have been detected as positive is no less in number and speaks volumes about the failure of state administration in taking preventive measures.

What is more alarming is that the hospitals are not able to meet the heavy rush as they lack infrastructure facilities like beds, stretchers, paramedics, and required number of doctors.

End result is that the patients are left to bear the brunt in government hospitals and shell out huge money in corporate hospitals.

Scarcity of necessary medicines and diagnostic equipment for platelet transfusion is also being reported.

Ground reports by The Hans India reveal that the district hospitals were flooded with patients.

In Nalgonda district alone, more than 7,000 cases of viral fever were reported and many of the patients opted for private hospitals as they found that there was a shortage of beds and doctors in government hospitals.

Most of those who shifted to private hospitals were suffering from dengue, chikungunya and a few cases of malaria were also reported.

The first big challenge before Medical and Health department authorities is to provide bed facility to the poor patients who go to government hospitals.

In the last one week, the number of patients visiting the hospitals has almost doubled. Erstwhile Nalgonda, Warangal, Mahbubnagar and Khammam districts registered a large number of fever cases in the last one week.

In Nalgonda, and Karimnagar districts, the machines for platelet transfusion known as 'Apheresis machine' were made available but they were not functioning because of poor maintenance.

Non-availability of technical staff at local level is resulting in failure to use the machinery, purchased spending crores of rupees.

The authorities admit that with the present available medical infrastructure in districts, it is difficult to meet the requirement in case a medical emergency takes place.

What is causing greater concern now is that one case of swine flu has also been officially reported at Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad.

Even in cities like Hyderabad there are many cases where government doctors are said to have advised the patients to shift to nearby corporate hospitals for better treatment.

But some patients claim that the private hospitals were fleecing the patients and it costs over Rs 1 lakh to treat a dengue patient.

V Ramaiah, an attendant of a patient from Nalgonda said that they had to shell out Rs 50,000 for regular diagnosis and another Rs 50,000 for platelet transfusion. In addition, Rs 20,000 were charged for staying in the hospital.

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