THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A major indigenous malaria outbreak in the state capital has raised serious questions about the disease control measures being taken by district health authorities.
As many as nine indigenous malaria cases were reported at Mukkola in Vizhinjam in the past five days. On Monday, two cases were reported in the region.
The epicentre, Mukkola, is an area prone to vector borne disease, however poor control measures and laxity on the part of authorities have led to a major outbreak setting off alarm bells for the health authorities.
District Medical Officer (DMO) Nita Vijayan M P told DC that the situation was alarming. She said that the area was prone to malaria and random cases of indigenous malaria had been reported in the area earlier also.
The DMO is planning to pull up Corporation authorities to start cross reporting on the field activities being undertaken in the coastal belt.
“People are not very cooperative with our field workers. Because of the trawling ban, fishing boats are the prime breeding source for malaria vector. We had launched a drive to disinfect well water from larvae but the people do not cooperate. Now people have understood the severity of the situation,” said Nita Vijayan.
She said that the Primary Health Centre (PHC) covered only a limited area at Vizhinjam as the rest of the areas were under the Corporation.
“We have requested the authorities to report to us on the activities but that is not happening. The funds for field activities are going to a joint account handled by the councillors and ward level sanitation committee. We have no idea on the activities being planned by them,” said Nita Vijayan.
She said that three teams had been deployed in the region to carry out house visit programmes and eliminate all sources. The authorities have stepped up surveillance and have started collecting blood samples. “We have launched fever surveillance camp in the area and we are scrutinising blood samples to prevent further spread,” said Malaria Officer V Rajashekaran.
When Mulloor councillor Omana was asked, she said that the committee had not met for a long time.
“PHC level field work is not happening and the main doctor at the PHC is not available at the centre most of the time,” said Omana. Interestingly, the councillor is unaware of the malaria outbreak happening in her own ward.