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Motorcycle ambulances, better PHCs on the cards

Medical and Health Minister Kamineni Srinivas on Wednesday declared that the government planned to provide 114 motorcycle ambulances for Agency areas in the state and also strengthen all primary health centers (PHCs).

He said they had decided to shift all patients in Chaparai, who had fallen ill reportedly due to contaminated water, to the Rajamahendravaram or Kakinada Government Hospital. There were 32 fever cases in Gondhikota and the patients were shifted to the Rampachodavaram area hospital.

He said the Chief Minister had asked the officials to see that the Chaparai incident was not repeated in any Agency area and find out reasons behind it.

Dr. Srinivas on Wednesday trekked to Chaparai village in Boddagandi panchyat in Y. Ramavaram mandal of East Godavari district along with Family Welfare secretary Sujatha Sarma, Collector Karthikeya Mishra, and ITDA Project Officer A.S. Dinesh Kumar. He said that the primary information from the hamlet was that deaths had taken place due to contaminated water and not because of “high fevers”.

Pulls up officials

The minister said that it was pitiable that the village sarpanch or anganwadi teacher, who are supposed to visit Chaparai village at least once in two weeks, did not inform about the 16 deaths that took place in a span of 22 days to the ITDA officials. He went to most of the houses in Chaparai and spoke to tribals on the deaths. He drank bore water from a pump in the village and also saw the stream, which was contaminated with animal carcass, from where tribals had drawn water for drinking.

Dr. Srinivas said that illiteracy, lack of awareness and other issues were the main reasons for the deaths. Anaemia, swelling of legs, liver-related diseases and others are to be screened through lab tests. He admitted that viral fevers were prevalent in other villages also and alerted medical and health officials to go to those villages.

He then visited the Chinturu area hospital and said that doctors or government officials should not feel that working in Agency area was a punishment, but it was to serve people with humanity.

Malaria additional director Githa Prasadini, and DMHO Chandraiah were among officials present.

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