Considering the yardsticks related to health and wellbeing such as increased life expectancy, reduced infant mortality, deliveries taking place in hospitals, babies born with the normal birth weight and a balanced sex ratio, Kerala is much ahead in almost all these factors.
A comprehensive system for public health and safety is the specialty of the state. For all the various achievements related to public health, Kerala is often compared not to other Indian states but to developed Western nations. The high literacy rate, the public consciousness and creative measures by the changing governments in power are what has propelled the state to such an impressive position. All these realities are recognized by everyone as well. As of June 13, in the month alone, the number of people dying from fever in the state is 83. The number of persons reaching government hospitals seeking treatment for infectious fevers comes to 1, 56, 225 of which 1597 contracted Dengue, 706 suffered from chicken pox and H1N1 was confirmed in 128 persons. One person died from malaria. The government hospitals have been crammed with patients with little space left. In many of the hospitals, the function of the OP department was derailed, stopping the admittance of patients. The patients infected with different kinds of fevers are seen lying in verandas and the benches outside. The doctors and other medical staff work overtime and is currently facing a difficult situation as well. In short, a deeply grave predicament have surfaced in the health sector. But it seems like not only the government, even the media haven’t yet comprehended the intensity and gravity of the situation.
It’s a common tendency in the state for the various kinds of fevers and infectious diseases to escalate with the arrival of monsoons. However, certain new and unknown illnesses and fevers are becoming rampant in the state for the past few years. They turned more severe this year. A majority of infectious diseases are caused by mosquitoes. That is, the disease-laden mosquitoes multiply as the monsoon becomes severe. A combined thought on why it happens should be analysed. For a state that has outshined all other states in the field of public health even commanding national respect, it’s a huge shame to lose before the mosquitoes that appear along with the onset of rains. Despite a huge progress in the field of health and wellbeing, the fact that new diseases pose challenges every year, should be seriously examined. A rise in the infectious cases spread by mosquitoes means there is an utmost lack of sanitation in the state. This is a shame for a state that has showed immense progress in health and education sectors.
The government, health workers and related organisations should jointly analyse on what actually went wrong. The majority of those stuck in hospitals are either employees or those belonging to financially backward families. If one of the members fall ill due to an infectious disease, the whole family is at risk of losing their means of livelihood. The government should be willing to provide the necessary assistance to such families. Things are turning in such a way that the spread of fevers are affecting the employment and production sectors. It’s surely the moment for the government to take appropriate steps to tackle the issue.