INDIA:DH Impact: Govt wakes up, acts to tackle fluorosis

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INDIA:DH Impact: Govt wakes up, acts to tackle fluorosis

Postby pfpcnews » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:04 am

DH Impact: Govt wakes up, acts to tackle fluorosis

Deccan Herald - December 7, 2018

By Ashwini Y S

She may not be relieved of the pain entirely. But Geethanjali K R of Kariyammanapalya village in
Pavagada taluk, Tumakuru district, now has access to quality healthcare and drinking water.

A day after DH’s report ‘Fluorosis takes its toll on drought-hit Pavagada’, Taluk Health Officer (THO) Dr
Venkatesha Murthy visited Geethanjali and evaluated her health condition.

Geethanjali, who is afflicted by Skeletal Fluorosis, has now been assured of free treatment by the
health department for the next three months. The 35-year-old, who has been immobilised waist
down, had stopped availing treatment, as she couldn’t afford it.

“We collected her urine sample yesterday. She was also taken to Madhugiri today for an X-Ray. There
are definitely fluoride deposits in her body. It’s quite apparent that she has been drinking raw water
for several years. Upon advice from doctors in Madhugiri, we have provided her with calcium and
Vitamin D tablets, in addition to protein powders and Vitamin syrups. We will do further evaluation
and ensure that she avails periodical treatment. We are also making arrangements for a walker from
the fluorosis wing,” he said.

The district administration has also decided to deploy an orthopaedic surgeon to Pavagada on a
permanent basis.

Murthy was also accompanied by officials from the rural water supply wing, who have inspected the
RO plant in the village. The water samples have been sent for analysis.

Also, the district authorities have decided to supply free water from the RO/defluoridation plants.
Presently, residents have to pay Rs 2 for a pot of treated water.

“The DH report was an eye-opener. The matter was also discussed at length during the Karnataka
Development Programme (KDP) meeting. After it was highlighted that several residents could not
afford water from RO plants, the deputy secretary of the zilla panchayat agreed to supply water free of
cost. I have also requested the rural water supply officials to evaluate all RO plants, and also ensure
that defunct plants are repaired at the earliest,” said Dr Murthy.

In addition to this, the health department has decided to intensify its IEC (information, education,
communication) activities in the taluk to create awareness on drinking purified water.
The health officer said circulars will be sent to all schools directing them to mandatorily supply only
treated water to students. Most children in Pavagada are affected by Dental Fluorosis (DF) after
consuming borewell water.

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