Dengue blamegame becomes Centre's malaise

Health minister shows personal interest in checking dengue cases, his minister of state says there is little centre can do.


Sonal Matharu | August 20, 2010

The health ministry seems to have joined the ‘toss the blame’ game when it comes to handling the swelling dengue fever cases in the country.

On one hand, health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told journalists on Friday that he has asked the officials in his ministry to go from hospital to hospital and provide all facilities to the municipal department to bring the situation in control, the same day, his minister of state made a statement in public that health is a state subject and there is not much the ministry can do.

“Health is a state subject. We cannot interfere with the states’ functioning. If they need any help from the centre – be it the resources, medicines, doctors – we are ready to provide them,” said minister of state for health Dinesh Trivedi at an event in a private school here on Friday.

Health secretary Sujatha Rao was also present on the occasion and said dengue cases can rise in the three months after monsoon - August, September and October – and all precautions are being taken but people should also check mosquito breeding at their homes and the surrounding areas.

“Though there has been a rise in dengue cases in the country, the good part is, not many people are dying of the disease,” said Rao.

According to Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD) records as on 20 August, there has been only one confirmed death due to dengue, that too of a person not belonging to Delhi. MCD has 348 dengue cases recorded out of which 329 are from Delhi, three are from Haryana and the rest are from other states.

The worst affected areas are central and south Delhi with 75 and 74 cases reported, respectively. Next in line are Shahadara (North), Civil Lines and Rohini zones with 31, 24 and 23 cases, respectively. However, the figure could be much higher with private hospitals’ records included, which MCD’s public health department’s director, N K Yadav, may not be happing at present.

The MCD blames the rains and digging of the city due to commonwealth games as the main reason for water logging and mosquito breeding. 



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