Skip to main content

Cholera cases reported in India this summer (downtoearth)

Incidents of cholera being reported across India this summer

Cholera also raising its head globally, most notably in Africa

Experts predict cholera would get more frequent due to climate change

Cholera, hitherto a rarely-reported disease in India, is raising its head this year in the country.

Odisha’s Ganjam district has reported an outbreak of the disease on April 14. The consumption of  contaminated “Pana”, a ritualistic drink drunk on the occasion of  the “Dandanata” festival observed on April 14, has led to the death of three persons in Kadua village of the district and many more have receivedtreatment at different medical centres. An inquiry by medical authorities and statements of victims have revealed that the “Pana” was prepared with water from a village pond being used for cleaning of body after defecation.

Other than Odisha, 36 other cases of cholera have been recorded in Hyderabad city limits. According to health workers, the disease could have been contracted because of mixing of contaminated water with ice, juice, beverages and other food items.

Though the occurrence of this disease in India is very rare—less than 100 thousand cases per year—the World Health Organization (WHO) has in the past warned that cholera can rear its head in India like it used to do in the past. According to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s journal of public health, “Bulletin of the WHO”, a cumulative total of 8,38,315 cases had been notified for the time period of 2004 to 2008, as compared to 6,76,651 cases in years 2000 to 2004. This represents an approximate of 24 per cent rise in the number of cholera cases identified. This report was submitted by the WHO on October 20, 2009 and was revised on h January 13, 2010.

According to the 2011 census of India, two-third of its population, i.e., 68.84 per cent of Indians live in 6,40,867 different villages and other rural areas. There, only 28 per cent of households use piped drinking water and 26 per cent of households have access to good sanitation. As cholera mainly spreads through contamination of water, it isn’t surprising that it continues to be an important public health problem in the country.

Other than India, cholera is also spreading in many other African countries. Somalia, the worst- hit, has recorded around 524 deaths and more than 25,000 people exposed to the disease. The number is being expected to double itself by next summer. The situation there is only getting worse as 13 out of Somalia’s 18 regions are now affected by cholera.

According to a research by University of Maryland, where the researchers compiled more than 40 years of cholera studies to compare it with the weather, the increasing severe heat waves and intense flooding due to climate change will spur the spread of cholera rapidly.

Popular posts from this blog

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

Cloud seeding

Demonstrating the function of the flare rack that carries silver iodide for cloud-seeding through an aircraft. 
Water is essential for life on the earth. Precipitation from the skies is the only source for it. India and the rest of Asia are dependent on the monsoons for rains. While the South West Monsoon is the main source for India as a whole, Tamil Nadu and coastal areas of South Andhra Pradesh get the benefit of the North East Monsoon, which is just a less dependable beat on the reversal of the South West Monsoon winds.

India’s criminal wastage: over 10 million works under MGNREGA incomplete or abandoned (hindu)

In the last three and half years, the rate of work completion under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has drastically declined, leading to wastage of public money and leaving villages more prone to drought. This could also be a reason for people moving out of the programme.

At a time when more than one-third of India’s districts are reeling under a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall, here comes another bad news. The works started under the MGNREGA—close to 80 per cent related to water conservation, irrigation and land development—are increasingly not being completed or in practice, abandoned.

Going by the data (as on October 12) in the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, which tracks progress of MGNREGA through a comprehensive MIS, 10.4 million works have not been completed since April 2014. In the last three and half years, 39.7 million works were started under the programme. Going by the stipulation under the programme, close to 7…