Courtsey :- IBNLIVE
The death toll due to cholera in Orissa has risen to 140 following a fresh casualty in worst-hit Rayagada district.
Just last month Orissa's Kalahandi and Rayagada districts were in the limelight when Congress leaderRahul Gandhi and the ruling Biju Janta Dal held parallel rallies there to woo tribal voters. But now when a deadly outbreak of cholera claims nearly 140 lives in the region, the political luminaries who had claimed to be soldiers fighting for the cause of the tribals, have strangely vanished.
Paranga Majhi, a villager, said, “We don't have any source of safe drinking water. So we are forced to use water from dirty rivers and ponds. That's why we are falling ill.”
35 people have died in Rayagada alone. Kalahandi, Balangir, Nuapada, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj and Malkangiri are among the worst affected. The rising death toll has pressed the panic button in the state health department. An emergency team of 50 doctors and paramedics have been rushed in.
Bikas Patnaik, Deputy Director, Health Services, Orissa commented, “We are taking all possible steps to provide clean water immediately where required apart from providing emergency health care."
The government is going one step further to tackle the cholera outbreak. It has announced a cash award of Rs 100 for those who bring cholera patients to government hospitals, a saree or a dhoti and a soap for the patients themselves. But the bigger concern is the lack of adequate medical staff.
According to the population of Orissa, the state should ideally have 12,000 doctors. But now there are only 3000 odd government doctors serving the state. What is more shocking is the fact that more than 1000 sanctioned doctor's posts are lying vacant in the state for past many years. No wonder the health service scenario in the state especially in rural Orissa is quite pathetic.