Apart from educating people on measures to take to prevent diseases, the state is also ensuring the taluk, district hospitals are well stocked with medicines.

Kerala Health Dept takes steps to curb spread of diseases as flood waters recedeVolunteers distribute medicines at a Kerala relief camp.
news Kerala Floods Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - 08:18

As Kerala slowly limps back to normalcy, the state’s Health Department is now taking steps to address potential health problems people could face in the days to come.

“We have opened up many relief camps in Kozhikode district alone and have a number of doctors attending to the people there. They are working relentlessly during the day to ensure that everyone is taken care of,” Kozhikode District Medical Officer Dr Jayashree tells TNM. “We have a number of postgraduates and house surgeons who have come to help out also.”

She further added that people in the camps are being educated on what to do when they eventually go back to their homes.

“Health education classes are being conducted for the people, specifically we are telling them about chlorination of wells and other cleaning activities which they should focus on when they return to their homes,” she states.

Earlier, Additional Chief Secretary of the State, Rajeev Sadanandan, told TNM that following the calamity, medical officials would be on the lookout for a number of waterborne diseases and that preventive measures would be taken to ensure that any outbreaks would be limited.

“Cleaning work will be started once things clear up, more medical camps will be set-up throughout the state. Doxycycline will be given as a preventive medication against leptospirosis to all the people in the camps. We are also going to make sure that anti-venom for snake bites is made available at all Taluk hospitals. Of course, TT injections will also be given to all,” he says to TNM. “Furthermore, we are planning to set-up in every affected panchayat, a Public Health Centre (PHC)-level facility. There will also be a 24x7 control room in adversely affected districts.”  

Following the natural disaster, state health officials are looking for signs of any waterborne diseases, such as cholera and leptospirosis, as well as other health problems.

Leptospirosis is a waterborne bacterial disease commonly seen during rain and monsoon season, which is spread through the urine of infected animals.  

“We have already started to observe the people in the camps and are giving them doxycycline as a preventive means to ward against leptospirosis, and are also keeping an eye out for other diseases. Many young children especially may present with diarrheal diseases, we also are expecting to see some insect or snake bites in people,” adds Dr Jayashree.

In addition to these, she also states that as time goes on, they expect to start seeing more mosquito-borne diseases.

At present, Kozhikode district alone has over 100 relief camps in place.

Read: Kerala's flood heroes: Meet the team that managed an 8000 strong relief camp in Aluva


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