Delhi is staring at a health crisis. A report by Praja Foundation, a Delhi-based NGO, reveals how the NCR is witnessing a steady rise of deaths from hypertension and diabetes — two silent killers overlooked by government authorities.
The report says that though dengue cases in the city have increased seven times in the last two years, still more people die from diabetes and hypertension.
According the report, in 2015-16, government-run hospitals and private clinics reported nearly 4,000 deaths from hypertension-related complications, and about 1,350 diabetes-related deaths. In 2016, that number was 1,962 for hypertension and 1,762 for diabetes.
The health department of the state government has raised questions about authenticity of the report.
Anjali Shrivastava, assistant manager at Praja Foundation, said, “Our report is based on data collected through RTIs from government-run hospitals and medical institutions. We have also taken complaints from residents into account. We have tried to highlight ailments that the government health department hardly talks about.”
Talking to City Spidey, Shrivastava said, “In the last three years, Delhi witnessed a high number of diarrhoea cases due to polluted water. Civic authorities and Delhi Jal Board received thousands of complaints during the same time. These figures indicate that residents have raised their voices on certain issues, but the authorities failed to pay any heed.”
When asked about the areas most affected, she replied, “People living in both posh colonies and other localities have been equally affected. Rohini, a posh locality in north-west Delhi, reported 33 per cent TB cases, 26 per cent dengue cases and 16 per cent malaria cases in the last two years.”
The report has unleashed a wave of panic among residents, who stormed the social media to highlight the concerns and seek government attention.
Shailja Chandra tweets: “Which part of SDMC [South Delhi Municipal Corporation] contributed 22% increase in dengue? Concerned area councillor, sanitary, malaria staff should be named openly.” Another resident tweets: “Kindly review and empower RWAs to organise anti-larva operations.”
In reply, Ashutosh Dikshit, general secretary of United Residents’ Joint Action (URJA), tweets: “URJA has pursued this with the corporation and written to the LG [Lieutenant Governor] as well."