September 27, 2016 3:21:49 am
THE CONGRESS Monday lashed out at the BJP and accused it of under-reporting cases of dengue between 2013 and 2015. In the standing committee of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), Leader of Opposition Farhad Suri stated that by misrepresenting facts presented to higher authorities, all those involved in the control of dengue and related vector-borne diseases had failed to plan according to the real threat.
Quoting the CAG report, which is yet to be tabled, Suri said that while the city has been experiencing dengue outbreaks since 1967, efforts to counter the spread of diseases is being hampered by under-reporting the number of cases of deaths caused by dengue and chikungunya. “Authorities who take note of these figures — government and health officials etc — would have been able to prepare better action plans if the corporations had sent the correct figures in their reports,” said Suri. Civic officials said the corporation “only forwards information that is provided by roughly 40 Delhi hospitals”.
SDMC Medical Health Officer, Dr B K Hazarika, told the standing committee that after the hospitals send their data to the “Death Review Committee (DRC)”, the board takes a call on how many deaths have been caused by dengue. The committee — a joint group of doctors from MCD and Delhi government hospitals — receives information from DHOs of different zones. After examining the case sheets from the “sentinel surveillance hospitals”, it collates information to be sent to authorities. The committee takes into consideration only cases confirmed by NS1 ELISA test.
A member of the DRC, Dr DK Seth, told The Indian Express that apart from sentinel hospitals, many private hospitals do not report cases of dengue to the corporation even though it is a notifiable disease. This could be a reason for discrepancy in figures presented in the CAG report and the corporation’s dengue reports, he said.
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According to Suri, the CAG report points out that “even as hospitals reported 409 dengue deaths in 2015, the DRC confirmed only 60 deaths occurring from dengue — 46 from Delhi and 14 from other states”.
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