Jajpur August 12 (Odisha.in) Srimati Munda (25) a daily labourer of tribal dominated village Nuagaon under Danagadi block in Jajpur district is awaiting death in his rickety thatched house.
Srimati Munda is not alone about one thousand people mostly tribals of Danapur block are suffering from tuberculosis .
Basuri Nayak (40) a daily labourer of village Mundasahi is one of the TB patients and has tested sputum positive four times. He is too feeble to walk, unable to breathe properly and cough constantly.
He survives only because some villagers feed him once a day. He contacted TB from her husband who died two years ago.
“Tell me what should I do now? A day’s medicine costs more than Rs 50,” said Dyrodhan Nayak (55) of village Benapatia, in a voice , barely audible. He can hardly lift his frail body and has to make too great an effort to walk.”
I do not know how many days I will live as I have no money to purchase medicines”, he said.
His wife is conscious of the danger of living with a person infected with a contagious disease but asks” What else can we do?”. After all, when there is not enough money for two meals a day can we construct another room for him?”, she asked.
“In the past, tribals used to live in the serene environment in the forest in Danapur areas.. But now most of the poor tribal persons, living in congested areas where the risk of infection is higher after many big industrial houses built many industries in these areas.
Rampant industrialization in Kalinganagar and its nearby areas under Danapur block have also polluted the air and water as a result large number of people of these areas are now prone to tuberculosis disease”, said Dr G. Dash a retired surgeon of Kendrapada.
The much-hyped TB eradication programme by the health department takes a back seat in the district particularly in tribal dominated rural areas, thanks to the slipshod attitude of the authorities.
The death of at least 30 tribals TB patients in Danagadi areas within this year alone reflected the gross negligence on the part of the health officials to treat the patients., alleged Tapan Barik a social worker of Danagadi.
Indramani Nayak and his son Bunu Nayak of Benapatia , Dulum Putri , Dinabandhu Putri, Mujhi Putri, Badur Putri, Raka Putri and Badamanga Munda of village Nuagaon , Sara Munda , Janjala Mohanta, Biru Mahanta, Fagu Munda and Madan Munda of village Salijanga and others of Danagadi block died of TB within this year.
The TB eradication programme had started two years back in the district and it was decided by the health officials that the doctors and para-medical staff will examine coughs of the suspected TB patients in 15 new laboratories in different hospitals.
But many TB patients spent money to examine coughs in the hospitals. A TB patient Saraswati Nayak (35) of village Benapatia alleged that he was forced to leave the government hospital as the hospital authority handed him a discharge paper though he is a chronic TB patient.
But the Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO), Induprava Das denied all the allegation and stated that TB eradication programme is a successful programme in the district.
“I have also directed the district TB officer , Dr Khemamani Mishra to submit a report within a week about the alleged death of many tribals after suffering from TB”, said CDMO.