Dengue has already started raising its head in Goa and there is the first case of fatality which came out in Vasco Da Gama. People Vasco stagger the protest in front of deputy collectors office for the failure of the government to provide the safety against the deadly vector-borne decease.
According to the reports published in The Goan, the recent death of a Vasco youth from suspected dengue caused a hue and cry among the people in Vasco, with many angry locals staging a protest march on Monday to demand better services at the Chicalim sub-district hospital.
A group of over 100 residents along with Mormugao councilors Lavina D’Souza and Krishna Salkar began their protest march from St Andrew’s church and proceeded to the deputy collector’s office.
The group of angry locals held placards and photos of the deceased youth and reached the deputy collector’s office, only to realize that a meeting convened by Vasco MLA Carlos Almeida with health officials was in progress to discuss the issue. Also present were Vasco Deputy Collector Paresh Faldessai, MMC chairperson Nandadeep Raut, councilors, Fr Gabriel Coutinho and a few locals.
Angry locals confronted the officials who were at the meeting and got into heated arguments with the health officials and doctors of SDH.
Locals have requested the government’s officials to solve the staff shortage and other medical services at Chicalim Hospital within ten days.
They also insisted that Health Minister Vishwajeet Rane visits the SDH to take stock of the situation.
The locals condemned the lackadaisical approach of the medical staff from Chicalim towards patients and the staff shortage in the newly upgraded sub-district-hospital. They held banners; shouted slogans condemning the poor medical facilities at the hospital which they alleged led to the death of 22 –year-old Malcolm Dias. Locals have questioned whether it’s worth having a hospital costing crores of rupees when it’s lacking in basic amenities.
A close relative of the victim, Henriquita said, “Malcolm was admitted to Chicalim Hospital on August 14 with a high fever. We had to carry out blood tests in private labs. On August 16, 55,000 platelets count was found in the report. I feel if the Chicalim Hospital lacked the facility on that day, then the medical officials should have shifted him to GMC where Malcolm could have been saved.”
She further added that on August 17 when the doctors noticed blood in the boy’s fecal material, it was then that they decided to shift him to GMC for treatment and while on the way to GMC, he breathed his last.
She demanded that the concerned authorities should look into the matters of the Chicalim hospital.
Fr Gabriel Coutinho expressed his sadness on the death of the young parishioner. He added that although it was seven months since the new Chicalim Hospital was made operational it was still lacking in necessary medical facilities, equipment, and staff. He said that health care should be the most important priority of the Government.
Responding to them, Almeida assured the residents that he would take up the matter with Rane. MMC councilor Lavina D’Souza said the protest should be an eye-opener for Health Minister Vishwajeet Rane. “There are many dengue cases in Vasco and the health department and health minister must take a note that SDH is the only hope for the poor in such cases,” said D’Souza.
Another resident, Annie Cabral, said the health department must begin a recruiting drive for staff at the SDH. “The SDH has no facility and even blood sample reports are given after two days. Doctors are saying no staff is available and there are no proper ambulance services. How does a new SDH work in such condition and how can we expect it to save lives,” asked Cabral.
Health Officer, Dr. Rajendra Borker said, “In Malcolm’s case we did the necessary thing stepwise, for example, we examined the fluid counts, heard complaints of the patient. Till August 16th, Malcolm was stable. All required medical treatment such as IB fluids; antibiotics, etc were given to him. Unfortunately, on the morning of August 17, Malcolm vomited and there was blood in his stools. We immediately tried to shift him to GMC and made efforts to improve his condition, but he didn’t respond to the medical treatment.”
When questioned about the medical facilities and staff shortage, Dr. Borker stated that the hospital has two ambulances and three drivers, but two more drivers were required to refer such cases quickly to GMC. He further added that they were facing a shortage of housekeeping staff and a proposal was sent to the government and they assured of getting staff by the authorities. A proposal was also sent to recruit some technical persons with regards to facility management.