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Weighed down by `bone crushing' fever

Suresh Krishnamoorthy

Chandrababu Naidu visits chikungunya-hit households in Nandigaon village, distributes medicines



TO THE AID OF THE AFFECTED: TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu enquiring about the condition of a chikun gunya affected woman at Nandigaon village on Monday. — PHOTO: P.V. Sivakumar

NANDIGAON (MAHABUBNAGAR DIST.) This little village off National Highway 7 has a population of about 8,000; and 2,307 of the residents have been referred to the Primary Health Centre (PHC) as chikungunya cases.

Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu during a visit on Monday was aghast at the sanitary conditions in a weaker sections housing colony here 40 km from the State capital. Every house in the colony has one or more members suffering from the `bone crushing' fever. Mr. Naidu visited over two-dozen households.

Sixty-five-year-old Sailu lay on a thin mattress and wincing in pain, lifted a hand by way of greeting the man whom he would otherwise not see in person. "My wife and son are down with gunya. I am a daily wage earner and with no assistance from the PHC, took hand loans for treatment in private clinics," he said.

Mr. Naidu went around houses and spoke to chikungunya victims, accompanied by MPs Ravula Chandrasekhara Reddy and Manda Jagannatham, N. Janardhan Reddy, MLA, former MPs A.P. Jeetender Reddy and Alladi Rajkumar and former Shadnagar MLA Bakka Narsimhulu.

Medical camp

The gram panchayat building was converted into a medical camp where he distributed medicines, including preventive homeopathy pills. Six doctors from Life Hospitals, Hyderabad examined the patients. He walked amidst hundreds of people, mostly those who had just recovered from a bout of chikungunya enquiring after their health. He sat down next to Lakshmamma, a 70 year-old tribal woman and examined her.

Mr. Naidu demanded that the State Government declare a health emergency and press related departments into action in all the districts. He asked for an enumeration of chikungunya cases and demanded distribution of 25 kg rice, five kg dal and some oil and tamarind. Medicines should also be supplied, he said.

Chikungunya deaths?

He visited Ambedkar Colony at Shadnagar and a tribal habitation before proceeding to Mogiligidda village where one Balaraju was said to have died of chikungunya on Monday morning. He said two other deaths had been reported -- one Basith at Nagarkurnool on Sunday and a former sarpanch Hussain at Lingala on Monday. He demanded ex gratia of Rs. 3 lakhs to the families of each victims.

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