Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Dengue epidemic in Delhi

Visualize this: There is a outbreak of dengue in your neighborhood, and after some study, it is found that your 2 coolers and an open tub on your roof is the breeding center. What do you think will happen ? Keep in mind all the radio ads that talk about fines if your place is found to have a potential dengue breeding place such as an open cooler. I would think that you will be subject to fines, some rough questioning and maybe a friendly visit to your neighborhood visitor friendly police station.
Now think about what will happen if this happens in a Govt run establishment. Nothing will happen, that's right, nothing will happen. And this is not some hypothetical case, it is actually happening. Dengue has invaded AIIMS (that's All India Institute of Medical Sciences), India's premier hospital and medical teaching center with people falling sick all over the campus. And what happens ? There is a lot of stuff in the newspapers, but the most interesting part is that an 'emergency' meeting is called to happen 10 days later. That's right, an emergency meeting for 10 days later. Almost seems like an oxymoron.
Makes you wonder as to what is going on ? AIIMS has been through this before, but it does not seem to have learned. There is talk about an open drain next to the hostels being the breeding ground, and no one, neither the hospital nor the students really seem to have cared about fixing such things. The health ministry is busy fighting its battle with the AIIMS director, and it would not be surprising if the next meeting just decides that there is a lot of blame that be laid at the doorsteps of the hospital. In the middle of all this, one also wonders as to what the municipal commission is doing ? It is supposed to be ensuring that breeding conditions for dengue do not happen. As always, it seems to be sleeping at its job.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 12:27 PM