Jagatsinghpur, 26 August
At least 120 persons of five villages in Naugaon block are affected by jaundice.
The number of patients is feared to go up due to absence of proper medical service. As per reports, the patients, who belong to Telasara, Garei, Dahanikhia, Dhuanpada and Korua villages, include about 65 children.
“The disease broke out a couple of days ago and spread in the villages. The consumption of contaminated drinking water by the villagers is said to be the cause behind outbreak,” said a source.
He added that the villages lack safe drinking water sources.
Most of the villagers depend on the community pond and river for their water need.
Meanwhile, it is alleged that absence of prompt medical care has aggravated the situation. Most of the patients have been rushed to private doctors as the government-run hospitals remain without doctors most of the time.
Against the three sanctioned posts in the PHC at Naugaon, only one is posted as the medical officer, there is one doctor at Deriki PHC too. The Alanahat PHC is functioning without a doctor.
The villagers lamented the callousness of the health department in handling the situation.
“No senior officer has yet visited the affected villages. When we took the patients to the local PHCs, the staff asked us to move them to the district hospital,” said Mr Sanatan Sahu of Korua village.
When contacted, the medical officer of Naugaon Dr Binod Bihari Rath dismissed the charges.
“Our team has collected blood samples of 13 persons of which eight have been found to be positive for jaundice,” he said.
There is no negligence on our part, we are doing the best to contain the disease,” he added.