The water borne disease is raising its head in Goa with its appearance in Pali village. According to the sources “The two deaths occurred due to the suspected diarrhoea outbreak at Pali in Thane village panchayat jurisdiction in Sattari, deputy collector V Volvoikar convened an emergency meeting of disaster management cell in Sattari and asked the associated government machinery to act swiftly and control the panicky situation prevailing in the village. Many Pali residents are having symptoms of vomiting and dysentery. Anger and fear are among the emotions the residents of Thane village locals in Valpoi are battling. In four days, two patients admitted to the Primary Health Centre, Valpoi, died from a suspected case of diarrhoea. Around 20 patients were admitted to the primary health centre, Valpoi, on March 5 after they complained of vomiting and diarrhoea. As Paryekar’s condition worsened, the six-year-old was shifted to Goa medical college and hospital, Bambolim, where she breathed her last. Sources in the health centre suspected that the diarrhoea could be due to the contamination of water, but the exact cause is yet to be ascertained. Several samples were taken and statements of affected persons were recorded. Samples of the potable water were also sent for analysis.
For the information of general public “the Diarrhoeal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old, and is responsible for killing around 760 000 children every year. Diarrhoea can last several days, and can leave the body without the water and salts that are necessary for survival. Most people who die from diarrhoea actually die from severe dehydration and fluid loss. Children who are malnourished or have impaired immunity as well as people living with HIV are most at risk of life-threatening diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is defined as the passage of three or more loose or liquid stools per day (or more frequent passage than is normal for the individual). Frequent passing of formed stools is not diarrhoea, nor is the passing of loose, “pasty” stools by breastfed babies.”
According to the studies “Diarrhoea is usually a symptom of an infection in the intestinal tract, which can be caused by a variety of bacterial, viral and parasitic organisms.” The infection spreads through contaminated food or drinking-water, or from person-to-person as a result of poor hygiene. Interventions to prevent diarrhoea, including safe drinking-water, use of improved sanitation and hand washing with soap can reduce disease risk. Diarrhoea can be treated with a solution of clean water, sugar and salt, and with zinc tablets.
According to health official attached to Valpoi CHC, death of Rukmini Paryekar occurred due to respiratory failure, and Dhano Sawant died due to high sugar level. They also said that villagers were found complaining about vomiting and dysentery, and suspected it to be due to water contamination. When questioned about the reason for water contamination, PWD water supplies official present at the meeting said that they have already examined water sample and have found water to be uncontaminated. The health officials are not clear about the cause of diarrhoea since they have not received the report of water samples, which has raised concern among public.
Meanwhile, Volvoikar instructed officials from the health department to submit a report pertaining to the steps being taken to tackle the outbreak of waterborne diseases in Pali. “I want all the departments attached to the cell to work for the public and avoid any inconvenience to them. If I find negligence over the delivery of services, appropriate action will be taken against concerned official in the interest of public,” he warned. He also directed the health department to intensify awareness programme related to preventive measures, which could be taken by villagers to prevent diseases.
Meanwhile taking proper measures to stay away from this disease will reduce the risk of further loss of life and it will also prevent the spread of the disease in the other parts of Goa.