Hyderabad: If your child developed symptoms of dengue or any other viral fever who would you go to get a diagnosis from – a medically qualified doctor, a paediatrician at that, or a government official, the head of a municipal corporation at that? Their diagnosis will vary, as indeed they differ about the extent of the dengue crisis in Hyderabad.
The paediatricians in the city firmly assert that dengue cases amongst chi-ldren is high. The number of dengue cases recorded in September was same as in August, the qualified doctors say.
But a new doctor in town, with his own diagnostic schema, GHMC chief Lokesh Kumar, says the incidences of dengue have come down. There have been 1,043 dengue cases reported in the city from June to September, the GHMC chief claims.
Mr Kumar claimed, “For the past couple of days, there have been about 40 viral cases every day, down from when compared to 100 to 120 in the past. Dengue cases are decreasing daily because of the effective measures taken by GHMC like fogging, spraying at vulnerable places which are prone to larva breeding and taking awareness campaigns at local bastis, schools and conducting health camps in slums and basti dawakhanas.”
While the GHMC claims success in cleaning up the city, the problem is far from over, and there is no improvement, say doctors The copious rains in September have added to the woes, assert doctors, who add that they fear that there could be a second wave of the disease.
Dr Mohammed Shafi, senior consultant, infectious diseases, said, “The cases seen till September were caused by the rains in July and August. The September rains again brought out garbage, muck. We have to ensure that our preventive and counter-measures are aggressive to ensure there is no rapid mosquito breeding again.”
The occupancy of beds in private and government hospitals tells a story — the doctors are right and the GHMC chief is telling us the exact opposite of the truth. The beds in all sectors are full. The intensive care units in children’s hospitals continue to have several children suffering from dengue.
Dr Satish Ghanta, senior paediatrician, said, “There is no respite from dengue among children. It is clearly conclusive from the details of cases we are attending to every day. If the situation was normal, there should be empty beds. But that is not the case. Till now, we are refusing patients as we have no beds to treat them. Dengue is high in the city, now down.”
Critical cases of dengue amongst children and adults, which constitute five per cent of the total cases, are continuing to stream in, which implies the mosquito is still active and anti-mosquito operations of the GHMC must reach more areas.
Dr Sanjiv Singh Yadav, secretary, T-IMA, said, “We have to be geared up as the rains in September are a new challenge. People must take precautions of not allowing for fresh water stagnation in and around their homes. They must continue to take day and night long mosquito control measures."
Quite clearly, the GHMC must be cured of its problem — denial.