MARGAO: Despite many migrant workers, who were readying Nehru stadium for Lusofonia Games, were detected positive for malaria last year, it seems the authorities have not taken enough steps to keep the vector-borne diseases at bay this time too.
Four malaria cases have been detected amongst the workers at the site of under-construction district hospital at Davondde, Fatorda.
Nullahs in Margao and its outskirts including Fatorda are choked with garbage. Puddles have formed in many low-lying areas in Aquem, Rawalfond, Calcondem and Fatorda and these sites are ideal for mosquito breeding. People are vulnerable to vector-borne diseases this year also.
Water has also stagnated in many low-lying areas in the Margao Konkan Railway station premises.
Scrap material like vehicle tyres are also dangerously dumped in scrapyards in Fatorda and Margao and rain water has collected in them — perfect sites for
Though the health officer of Margao Urban Health Centre Dr Sanjay Dalvi said that the rainy season is a prime mosquito-breeding period, he added that compared to the last year, less number of malaria cases has been reported this time.
“Last year, 384 malaria cases and 10 dengue cases were reported in areas under the jurisdiction of the UHC. But, no chikungunya case was reported. During the last six months, 51 malaria cases have come to light while no case of chikungunya or dengue has been reported this year,” informed Dr Dalvi, who is also the member secretary of the district coordination committee for prevention of vector-borne diseases.
Attributing the decline in cases of vector-borne diseases to preventive measures taken by the UHC, he added that very often the work at the UHC gets hampered due to the shortage of staff.
He said that the MMC should cooperate by allotting manpower to them wherever necessary.
He also maintained that the centre has taken up all possible measures to prevent malaria in areas under 20 wards of the municipality that come under its
However, sources revealed that no joint meeting of municipal authorities, urban health centre and local leaders has been held to prepare a plan to put a check on vector-borne diseases.
The state government spends a lot of money on AIDS and malaria control programmes, sources added.
“Why focus is laid on vector-borne diseases only in monsoon when records show that malaria cases are detected throughout the year? There is a need to inspect the construction sites as mostly migrants are found to be the main carriers of the disease,” Maria Fernandes from Fatorda said.
“The urban health centre carries out survey of malaria-prone areas every year. Records show that the number of malaria cases has declined and people also have become more health conscious. I will hold a meeting with the health officer and his team soon and review the situation,” stated Margao MLA and former chief minister Digambar Kamat.
Margao Municipal Council chairperson Gonzaco Rebello, however, claimed that the MMC has not received any complaint of water stagnation that could be lead to malaria breeding, adding, “nevertheless we will cooperate with the urban health centre in keeping the diseases at bay.”
MMC chief officer Narayan Sawant also pledged support to authorities for initiating measures to prevent malaria and other vector-borne diseases, adding, he wishes to hold meeting with the health authorities with regard to vector-borne diseases.
Bertha Cardoz, MMC councillor said “We have been doing our best to keep the areas clean. Since the nullah behind the collectorate building is choked with debris, I request the water resource department to clean it up. People should also help us to keep the areas clean. It is very sad that malaria cases are being detected in Fatorda