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Central Expert Delegation : Low implementation of funds, averse weather caused Malaria outbreak
Central Expert Delegation : Low implementation of funds, averse weather caused Malaria outbreak
PHOTO : Health Minister Badal Chowdhury and Central Experts team meeting at Health Minister Chamber. TIWN Pic June 26

AGARTALA, June 26 (TIWN): Low implementation of funds provided to Tripura under the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program had impact on the massive outbreak of malaria in the state which caused a death toll of 50 till date, Additional Director of the NVBDCP Dr. Avadhesh Kumar said here today.“We have suggested certain guidelines to the state government. We have laid out a set of action to be followed by the state, district and sub-divisional administration henceforth. The government is already acting accordingly”, Dr. Kumar said. “We shall continue to supervise and monitor the situation”, he added.

Speaking to reporters at the civil secretariat after meeting Health Minister Badal Choudhury following a series of visits in four districts since June 22, Dr. Kumar said that the three member central malaria expert team comprising of the NVBDCP Additional Director, Regional Director (Malaria) Dr. Satyajit Sen and Entomologist Dr. Sukhvir Singh vsited Dhalai, Gomati, Khowai and South Tripura districts to assess reason behind the sudden outbreak.

Dr. Kumar further said that the monsoon was partly responsible for the outbreak. “We have noticed similar patterns of growth in malaria cases in many states of the NE India after the onset of monsoon. The outbreak spread across many districts which increased its damage potential”, he said.

Asked about reason of the massive proportion of outbreak, the official said that since funds of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program wasn’t properly utilized, activities were less than required. It had an impact on the containment of the malaria outbreak, he added.

The team is currently analyzing data and samples collected during their visit in the state. A detailed report would be filed before the central government soon, Dr. Kumar stated.

Speaking to reporters later this evening, Health Minister Badal Choudhury admitted that the central delegation had pointed out a direct disconnect of the lower levels of the healthcare infrastructure with the common people.

“We have already admitted the fact. The government has taken stern action against all erring personnel”, he said. The minister added that the government would build up a medicine stock to combat any such outbreak in future.

Choudhury further admitted that the NRHM state mission was guilty of not implementing funds provided by the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program. “We are making sure that the funds are not properly implemented”, he said. The minister added that funds were lying unspent in the previous financial year. Funds are unspent in the first half of the current financial year as well.

“This outbreak has been a brutal lesson to us. The Department will now conduct regular and periodic blood tests on individuals living in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC)”, the minister said.

Highly placed sources inside the Health and Family Welfare Department said later this evening that the central delegation advised the government to appoint more entomologists. Appointing volunteers in the village level, proper implementation of the funds, facilitating rapid growth of rural healthcare among other issues.

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