Cut-off area of Malkangiri in diarrhoea grip

Bhubaneswar: The cut-off areas in Malkangiri hit the headlines some months ago after the abduction of then district collector R Vineel Krishna. Now, one such village is in news as people are dying of diarrhoea due to absence of medical facilities.

As per government figures, at least 10 people have died in diarrhoea-affected Taberu village under Kudimullugumma block in Malkangiri. However, unofficial figures put the numbers above 15.

The intense heatwave across the state has made the outbreak more complex. Villagers complain of skin irritation, inflammation accompanied with nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

“One of my family members died of diarrhoea. Initially, he had fever, headache along with diarrhoea and later succumbed,” a villager said.

“The affected villagers complained of headache, stomach ache and fever. Around 15-16 persons have died of diarrhoea in our village,” a villager said.

There are two PHCs (Primary Health Centres) for 151 villages under seven panchayats to cater to medical requirements, but it seems to be too little.

OTV team embarked on a visit to the affected village to take stock of the situation. The crew took a 70 km water route from Chitrakonda to Jantri village. From there, the members trekked for 13 kms to reach the affected village—Taberu.

The ground realities were distressing as poor villagers were left in lurch due to lack of basic medical facilities. 

As soon as the news spread, the district administration dispatched a medical team to assess the situation. After preliminary investigation, the paramedical staff attributed the outbreak to intake of contaminated water and steep rise in temperature.

“In the last one month, around 10 people have died of diarrhoea. Now, the situation is under control. Around 30 people are under treatment. They are being treated for malaria and respiratory tract infection,” Chitrokonda hospital staff, Dr Kshirod Mohanta said.

Meanwhile, around 30 persons are receiving treatment and two health officials have been stationed at the village to deliver services. In addition to this, more staff would be sent to Taberu, if need be, the government sources said.

“Some people were affected with respiratory diseases. Some had boils due to rise in temperature. We have stationed two health workers to keep a watch on the situation,” Malkangiri CDMO, Dr Pravakar Rao said.