Medical team visits Ganjam district

Berhampur: An eight-member medical team from Berhampur visited tribal dominated Bada Ansupa area in Ganjam district amid reports about death of some children in suspected pneumonia compounded by Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).

“Besides the affected village, the team headed by the district surveillance medical officer (DSMO) also visited the nearby villages yesterday to review the situation,” said Chief District Medical Officer of Ganjam Mrutunjay Mishra.

While villagers claimed that six children, aged between two months and five-and-a-half year, suffered from pneumonia with SAM and died between May 6 and 16, the CDMO said the exact situation was being ascertained.

A medical team from the nearby medical centre at Patrapur had earlier visited the affected village and reported some children were suffering from malnutrition. One of them was admitted to MKCG Medical College and Hospital here.

Lack of communication, drinking water facilities and awareness are some of the reasons for spread of infectious diseases in the area, doctors said.

Outbreak of diarrheal disease and malaria are frequently reported from the area, while at least five persons had died of water-borne disease in mid-October last year.

Since there is no communication, the medical team climbed around 8-km in the hill area to reach the villages, said CDMO.

Over 1,000 people in around a dozen villages in Ankuli and Burutala gram panchayat are living on the hill top.

Instead of bringing the patients to the nearby medical center, they had taken them to a village deity as they believe that ailments could be cured by rituals.

“Though we advise the people to take medicine, they decline and refuse to climb down to the plain areas for treatment,” said medical officer of Patrapur health center, Laxmi Narayan Panigrahi.

He along with para-medical team from Patrapur health centre reached the affected village on Saturday when they came to know about the outbreak of the disease.