For over a decade, Canacona has not experienced any serious cases of malaria. Though some malaria cases were...
By Albert Fernandes | NT
CANACONA: For over a decade, Canacona has not experienced any serious cases of malaria. Though some malaria cases were reported and subsequently treated, not many were detected with falciparum malaria, the most dangerous and life threatening form of malaria.
Strikingly, 95-97 per cent of malaria victims were migrants, said the health officer of Canacona community heath centre, Dr Vinod Naik.
Some migrants afflicted with malaria particularly those working at construction sites, said that being migrants they have to live in makeshift tents and are hence more susceptible to this disease. “When it is identified that we are afflicted with the disease, we are singled out, blood sample is taken and if found positive, treatment starts at the earnest at the CHC. No doubt we get good treatment and only after we are cured we resume our work at the respective construction sites,” it was claimed. They also said that no sooner they land at the construction spot, the contractor concerned takes them for registering health cards.
The CHC has also been doing its best to prevent and minimise malaria disease. Health workers regularly visit people and educate them. Today, children are more empowered about malaria as they are taught in schools. They try to keep the surroundings clean by doing away with coconut shells, broken bottles, tins and used tyres as they are potential mosquito breeding sources as they can hold water.
Two school teachers from Canacona, on conditions of anonymity, said that the municipal areas are better prepared to counter malaria this year compared to past as they have been cleaned up but it is a pity that the panchayat areas are crying for adequate measures. Identification of probable mosquito breeding places should be done and necessary measures should be taken to kill the breeding larvae so that the villagers are kept free from malaria disease.
The health officer, Dr Naik speaking to this reporter, said that once the migrant labourers arrive, steps are taken to see that they get health cards. “We take blood samples to check for malaria and if found positive, they are treated immediately,” Dr Naik said. He pointed out that more malaria cases are found in migrants working at construction sites but they are not alarming. “Since we do not have many construction sites of enormous nature, it becomes easy for us to take necessary steps to control outbreak of malaria,” he added.
Dr Naik informed that chemicals needed to fog the necessary sites, are supplied by CHC and the fogging is done at the area where the migrants reside. “We also supply mosquito nets at subsidised rate of ` 50 per piece which are called Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLIN). Besides our health workers visit the sites constantly to check the area for mosquito breeding,” Dr Naik said adding all those treated are migrants and that as of now, no cases of indigenous nature are reported. Dr Naik gave a break-up of malaria cases for the last three years.
Dr Naik sounded caution that the only sanitary inspector who is here and who is retiring at the end of this month, needs to be given extension. He said that the need here is two sanitary inspectors but presently there is only one, the other post which was transferred from here has not been replaced. CMC chairperson, Mr Ramakant Naik Gaonkar, who spoke to this reporter, expressed happiness over the malaria prevention measures taken by the CHC.