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Sad plight:Indian Council of Medical Research Director-General Viswa Mohan Katoch examining a suspected child victim of endosulfan pesticide spraying at the General Hospital in Kasaragod on Wednesday.
KASARAGOD: Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General Viswa Mohan Katoch has said that steps will be initiated to mitigate the plight of endosulfan victims and their families.
The authorities would take steps within two months to address the health hazards faced by the victims and submit a draft report to the officials concerned, Dr. Katoch, heading a ten-member Central team to assess the health situation and suggest solutions to address the issues in the affected localities, said.
The team held talks with government and private doctors to assess the health situation at the General Hospital here on Wednesday.
The team earlier met doctors of the Community Medicine Wing of Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, whose experts had carried out a study between September and December last year on the health status of nearly 10,000 people residing in the affected areas in the 11 panchayats in the district.
Dr. Katoch said he would visit the district by July-end and tour the affected localities and suggest measures to address the concerns of the people there.
Steps would be taken to resolve the social issues caused due to the endosulfan-related health hazards in the district, where the pesticide had been aerially sprayed till 2001 before it was banned.
“It is heartening to note that the cases of genetic disorders, mental and physical disabilities are coming down over the recent years in the endemic localities. The need of the hour is to ally the apprehension of the affected people rather than carrying out any more frightening studies,” Dr. Katoch told the media after chairing a meeting attended by senior district officials. Dr. Katoch examined a few children afflicted with ailments attributed to the spraying of the pesticide. He called for a detailed examination of the health condition of people of different age groups.
A comprehensive study on the effect of the pesticide would be completed within three years, he said adding that the study would take into account the other hazardous pesticides used in the States such as Karnataka, Orissa, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh.
K. Sait, Chief Executive Bio Tech Park, Lucknow; Y.K Gupta, Head of Pharmacology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi; P.K. Nag, Health Director of the Ahmedabad-based National Institute of Occupational Health (which in 2002 had attributed endosulfan as the cause of the alarming health hazards in the district); and T. Jayakrishnan of Kozhikode Government Medical College are among the members of the team.
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