After floods, epidemic fear haunts Bihar
Patna, Sep 7: People of Bihar are uttering a sigh of relief as the water level of the turbulent Kosi is receding gradually, but the fear of an outbreak of epidemics is looming large. With the receding flood water, the probabilities of outbreak of epidemics are high in the relief camps and among villages of the flood-affected districts.
Several cases of diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases are being reported in the camps where the victims are getting medical aid. Besides medicines, the relief camps providing shelter to the rescued people are in dire need of paramedical staff, trained nurses and doctors to treat the patients as their numbers are bulging.
The state government, several NGOs and voluntary organisations have taken measures to combat the situation. Besides medicines and ambulances, the other required infrastructure have been arranged at the make-shift health camps.
Meanwhile, the medical fraternity have come forward in the hour of need and are rendering their services free of cost. The mobile health care units are also on the move in the flood-affected villages.
Reports stated that the water level had receded in Madhepura town and the situation was improving fast in this worst-hit district.
Taking cognizance of the complaints received from several quarters against District Magistrate of Madhepura Rajesh Kumar for his alleged reluctance in looking after the relief and rescue operations, the state government removed him from the post and transferred Atish Chandra, Managing Director of the COMPFED, there.
Mr Kumar has been made director of the ICDS.
According to a report from Saharsa, 86,000 cusecs water was discharged in river Kosi during the day which had an inflow of 92,750 cusecs water yesterday. The report, quoting DM R Lakshmanan, said diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases had taken the district in its grip where the disease had taken an epidemic form. Nearly 250 people had taken ill due to diarrhoea, the report said, adding that 60 doctors had been engaged at 34 different health camps to treat the patients. The condition of Sonerbsa and Patarghat blocks were worst-affected where 43 medical units of the Army were operating round the clock.
The DM, in the report, said two government officials had been suspended in the district for neglecting relief and rescue operation and recommendations for initiating departmental action had been made against them.
Mr Lakshmanan, in the report, disclosed that airdropping in Patarghat block was still going on.
The train services which were suspended in between Saharsa-Forbesganj and Saharsa-Purnia had still not resumed as the railway tracks were damaged due to the flood water.
According to a report from Madhepura, quoting Bihar Revenue and Land Reforms Minister Narendra Narayan Yadan, 378 villages of 11 blocks in the district were worst affected.
The report said water-borne diseases and diarrhoea had taken an epidemic form where the relief camps were overburdened with patients with the symptoms of diarrhoea.
The report informed that 100 doctors including 40 specialists from Apollo, New Delhi, were treating the patients in the camps.
However, they were facing dearth of medicines and other medical equipment.
According to the report, 97 relief camps were operational in the district where 124 tube wells had been installed to solve the drinking water problem.
Nearly 14,000 bottles of drinking water had so far been supplied to the camps by the various NGOs.
The report mentioned that of the 11 lakh flood affected people, four lakh people were evacuated so far in the district.
Meanwhile, an official report from Araria said 14,945 people had been taklen ill due to water-borne diseases and were getting medical aid in the 28 health camps. The report stated that 68,000 people had been shifted to 64 relief camps in the district.
Over 97,145 people had so far been evacuated from the marooned areas.