Drastic rise in cases of diarrhoea across Hyderabad state

Hyderabad, May 21, 2014: In a worrying trend, lakhs of people have fallen prey to diarrhoea this year after drinking ‘unsafe’ water supplied by the municipal authorities and eating at unauthorized roadside eateries in the state. 

Worrying statistics obtained from the Directorate of Health (DoH) reveal that an astounding 4.96 lakh diarrhoea cases have been recorded in the state so far this year. This is more than double the number recorded in the same period last year. In fact, only 2.87 lakh cases were reported from across the state in 2013. 

State-run hospitals in the city have recorded 20,331 diarrhoea cases, while the neighbouring Ranga Reddy district has reported 29,858 cases. The north coastal district of Vizianagaram recorded the highest number of cases (53,699) in the state. 

DoH officials are also worried about the unaccounted number of patients approaching private hospitals and clinics. 

Alarmed, GHMC additional commissioner (health and sanitation) N Ravi Kiran said medical and health officers have been asked to take up a special drive to check unsanitary conditions. “I have also instructed them to liaison with hospitals and focus on specific areas,” he said. 

The spike in diarrhoea cases, experts said, was a clear reflection of unsafe drinking water supply besides the lack of hygiene control at roadside food joints. “There is no doubt that there are more diarrhea cases reported now than a few years ago. These are all related to unhygienic drinking water and eating at small food joints where owners do not practice even the minimum hygiene,” said Dr Avinash Kumar, a city-based pediatrician. “I see about 35-40 cases a month, mostly children. My main advice is to only drink boiled water to prevent disease outbreak,” he added. 

Ground water in most districts has become unsuitable for drinking due to high content of fluoride, nitrate and iron, according to the 

Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), which released a report late last year. GHMC officials said that at some places, drinking water has been contaminated by leakage of sewer lines. 

“There is a need to plug the leakages with the help of Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB),” said Ravi Kiran. 

“Quite a good number of cases are due to food poisoning as well,” said an official from DoH. A case in point is the outbreak in the city last month wherein more than 20 people fell ill after consuming fast food from a bakery in Hafizbabanagar area of Old City. “People should avoid eating outside and boil the water before drinking,” the official added. 

The Centre has mandated a license to run any foodrelated business with an annual turnover of over Rs 12 lakh as per the FSS Act, 2006. Vendors or eateries having less than Rs 12 lakh turnover are supposed to register with the GHMC by paying Rs 100 per year. But this is seldom done. Officials said that of the 12,000 hotels and 20,000 small eateries in Greater Hyderabad, only 5,000-6,000 have registered with the GHMC. (Source: Koride Mahesh & Bushra Baseerat, TNN)

21-05-2014 | Posted by Admin