Maharashtra: ASHAs, Other Workers Traverse Tough Terrain For Malaria Survey in Gadchiroli
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Worker sanitizes a premise of a temple as the cases of dengue and malaria rises, in Mumbai. Image Courtesy: ANI
Nagpur: A team of health workers, led by a medical officer, trekked to remote tribal villages of Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district to conduct a malaria survey after three deaths were reported from the area.
The 11-member team comprising ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activists) workers, ASHA supervisors, malaria technical supervisor, multi-purpose workers and the medical officer visited Binagunda, Fodewada, Kovakodi, Turremarka and Perimilbatti villages located about 200 km from Gadchiroli district and about 20 km from Laheri primary health centre (PHC) in Bhamragadh taluka.
The team traversed 18 km, trekking and crossing rivers and streams by boat amid rains and stayed in the villages for three days to conduct a survey of malaria patients, check-ups for pregnant women and visit ashram schools in the hamlets situated on hills that get cut off from the rest of district for four months during monsoon due to swollen water bodies.
Talking to PTI, Dr Chaitanya Inge, the medical officer at Laheri PHC, said the team went to these villages for malaria survey after three casualties were reported due to the disease in connected regions of Laheri last month.
"We were concerned when we pictured these remote places and wanted to check how people there were coping in the backdrop of the viral spread. Moreover, due to connectivity issues, pregnant women were unable to visit the healthcare centre and we decided to examine them as well," said Dr Inge, who is on his very first posting.
Over 70 people were found malaria positive during the survey conducted from July 26 to 29 and they were given medicines, he said.
Asked about challenges the team had to face, Dr Inge said there was a risk involved as the visit was undertaken during 'the Naxal movement week' observed by the Maoists in the region, and the rough terrain amid rains also posed problems.
The team started on the morning of July 26 from Laheri and returned on July 29, he said.
"We had to walk through the forest, take a boat to cross rivers and nullahs, trek hills and even wade through knee deep water at some places with our medical equipment," Dr Inge said.
The team visited 15 houses in Turremarka, 26 in Fodewada, 15 in Perimilbatti, 19 in Kovakodi and 26 in Binagunda.
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