Fevers Raise Ugly Head In Visakhapatnam Agency
Visakhapatnam: Even as the grief of sixteen deaths of adivasis in Chaparayi village in East Godavari Agency is still haunting those concerned, the viral fevers and other diseases have begun to raise their ugly head in Visakhapatnam Agency.
As many as 11 persons in various villages of Lakshmipuram panchayat in the Agency were reportedly died of various diseases in a span of six months since January 2017, according to Girijana Sangham, affiliated to Communist Party of India (Marxist). Four adivasis from Dabuguda village, one from Kondaparru, two from Tumidiputtu, one from Suttiguda, one from Mettaguda and one from Karlapodar reportedly succumbed to fevers and other diseases. The same panchayat had seen staggering 27 and 30 deaths in 2015 and 2016 consecutively.
Reports coming in from Agency suggested scores of adivasis belonging to Kummariputtu in Darela panchayat in Munchingputtu mandal have been in the grip of fevers. As of July 10, the number of persons suffering from fever in the village crossed over 30 and the condition of the 10 adivasis was reported critical according to Girijana Sangham. The health staff who visited the village following complaints from the villagers rendered medical services till the media clamour subsided, the Sangham alleged. “The situation continues to be grim in the village,” complained K.Trinadh of Girijana Sangham. Besides Kummariputtu adivasis, hundreds in Jabada, Konjariguda and Vanugumma of this mandal were in bed with fever, he added.
It was reported three persons including an infant and a child belonging to Pedabayalu mandal died of high fever on July 8. A seven-year-old girl Divya Bharathi of Pinaraveli, an infant Vantala Nandini of Kotturu and a 50-year-old Intengi Erranna of Gunjivada succumbed to high fever. As many as 50 adivasis residing in Pinaraveli, Kummaragoyya and Gunjivasa of Jamuguda panchayat in Pedabayalu mandal have fallen sick due to high fever, revealed a three-member committee of YSR Congress comprising J.Surayanarayana, Apparao and Ashok Kumar.
Iron deficiency on the rise in Agency
Apart from fevers, the anaemia has been prevalent in the Agency villages. Malnutrition is resulting in Anaemia putting the life of several adivasis including women and children at risk.
An anaemic pregnant woman, belonging to Kojiriguda village of Bungaputtu panchayat in Munchingputtu mandal died a day after she had a stillbirth on July 2. Sixty-year-old Pangi Rukmini of the same village died on July 4 after suffering from high fever for about a week. Fever took the life of a six-year-old Killo Laichan in Jabada village in Lakshimpuram panchayat in this mandal. As of July second week, as many as ten villagers were afflicted by fever in Kojiriguda.
Kimudu Geethanjali (15) belonging to Sujankota village in Munchinputtu mandal would have joined Intermediate by now, had not she succumbed to death owing to anaemia on July 10, rued her parents Parvathamma and Ramarao.
Geetanjali was first taken to Munchingput PHC where she was found to be anaemic and referred to Paderu area hospital. “Things came to such a pass in the hospital that there was no ambulance ato send her to the referral hospital. Parents took her to King George Hospital, Visakhapatnam the next day by making their own arrangements only to see her demise on July 12,” alleged Gangadhar, Girijana Sangham activist. On July 4, Annamma of Gandala village in Pedabayalu mandal died of anaemia.
As many as ten inmates of a residential school for tribal girls in Jeenabadu village in Anantagiri mandal were down with fevers as of July 10. They were rushed to the Devarapalli primary health centre for treatment, thanks to the immediate reaction by the school health worker G. Padmaja.
A two-year old boy died of fever in voldubedda village of Teegalavalsa panchayat in Hukumpeta mandal, informed Killo Surendra, Secretary of CPM, Paderu division. About 30 persons were running a fever in the village as of July 12.
A few of adivasis reported having Anthrax in Kodipunjuvalasa in June last week. Although not prevalent but the fear of the spread of Anthrax is visible in the villagers. Besides health implications, it had hit their livelihood with traders from plain areas stopping the purchase of goats from the adivasis.
The cases presented here are reflective of the grim health situation in the Agency. Fevers, diarrhoea, anaemia and other seasonal diseases gripped several mandals in Visakhapatnam Agency said Lokanadham, district Secretary of the CPM. “Health Minister should have ensured preventive measures such as anti-larval spraying much before the onset of monsoons. Anti-larval spraying has not been taken up even today,” he alleged.
Former MLC Dr.M.Geyanand who visited Agency recently demanded that sufficient staff be recruited for effective medical services in the Agency. He was keen on holding medical camp each and every village in the Agency. “Time and again I brought to the notice of the government the pathetic health and nutrition conditions of adivasis as an MLC. I demanded a separate medical policy for the adivasis. But the government turned a deaf ear to my proposals,’ he remarked.
“The Minister for Health Kamineni Srinivas who made a whirlwind tour in the Agency last week did not come up with an action plan to improve the situation. Instead, he made passing remarks on the life styles of adivasis and preached some morals to adivasis,” remarked K.Dayanidhi, Vice-president of AP Girijana Sangham Visakhapatnam district unit.
As the Minister left Paderu, leaving hundreds of adivasis in lurch, K.Dayanidhi, S.Suribabu, K.Trinadh, P.Appalanarsa and their colleagues have taken on the responsibility of saving the lives of adivasis. They have been organising dharnas pressing for more medical teams, medical camps in each village, the supply of protected water for villages, and provision of mosquito nets. One of such protests held in front of all the mandal headquarters and PHCs was to demand an afternoon meal for adivasis patients making a beeline for treatment!
They did not stop there. They managed to rope in some of the homoeopathy doctors and service organisations such as Sarada Trust, Alluri Seetharamaraju Vijnana Kendram to render the medical help in the villages strewn in the hilly terrains.