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Q. Chikungunya and dengue cases in India: In the backdrop of growing cases of vector borne diseases like chikungunya,dengue and malaria, comment on public health system and outline some suggestions.
Sep 15, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

In recent times India has witnessed death of several people due to outbreak of chikungunya,dengue and malaria. Delhi itself witnessed at least 10 deaths due to the vector-borne disease reported in the last some days.

Vector borne diseases in India-

  • According to National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), around 12,255 cases of chikungunya have been reported across the country till 31 August. Karnataka alone has recorded 8,941 cases, more than 1000 in Delhi, Maharashtra 839 and Andhra Pradesh 492 cases.
  • Dengue cases have shot up to 1,158 in the national capital region with nearly 390 of them being recorded in the first ten days of September.
  • The dengue map for 2015 shows that Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal and Gujarat were the worst-affected. On chikungunya, Karnataka has a disproportionately higher incidence compared to other States.

Analysis of public health system-

  • Recent deaths due to an outbreak of dengue, chikungunya and malaria have once again exposed the inadequacy of national public health programmes that aim to eliminate vector-borne diseases.
  • India has witnessed sharp increase in the incidence of chikungunya in the country in 2015 over the previous year, although official data do not attribute any deaths to the infection.
  • Dengue cases have also steadily risen, from 75,808 in 2013 to 99,913 last year, with the death toll rising from 193 to 220 during this period. Similarly cases of also malaria grown, with over 1.1 million cases last year, although the number of people dying from the infection has shown a recent decline, going by official statistics.
  • Though India witnessing rapid economic growth and prosperity, but it is nowhere near victory in the battle against productivity-sapping infections spread by mosquitoes and other insects.

Suggestions-

  • There is need to integrate various different approaches to achieve better results.
  • It must include focus on mosquito control in irrigation and agriculture, introducing new classes of insecticides for residual spraying within houses, and scaling up distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets even in areas caught up in conflict.
  • Establishing mobile centres for access to diagnostics and treatment will help to contain disease transmission.
  • To eliminate vector-borne diseases, there has to be sustained effort and political will. It needs active surveillance and close collaboration with local governments to eliminate the hotspots.
  • There is need of mobilising the community to participate in sanitation campaigns. And families that live in deprived neighbourhoods will need generous municipal assistance, improved civic facilities and access to free health care.

Conclusion-

Recent outbreak of vector borne diseases like chikungunya, dengue, malaria and subsequent deaths of few citizens again exposed the sorry state of affair of our public health system. Though India has several programmes but they are not implemented effectively. India being high on ongoing economic development, it needs to address various issues associated with public health system.


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