Being one of the tribal dominated and poverty stricken districts of the state, Gajapati is deprived of basic amenities and medical facilities, following which the region has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and the situation is further complicated by the unhygienic life-style of many poor families.
"Around thirteen people have died due to malaria in our village council. We apprehend more deaths in the coming days. If the government and the health department do not take any notice of this emergency situation, then people may die like worms," said Udaya Nath, a local resident.
Most of the affected villages are in remote areas and isolated in the dense forests, due to which medical facilities are out of reach to the ill people.
However, officials of the State Government contend that the Health Department is keeping a track of the situation in this region.
Orissa's Revenue Minister, Surya Narayan Patra, claimed that numerous awareness camps are being held to educate the people about cleanliness and they are keeping a check on breeding of mosquitoes.
"Not only Gajapati, but most of the tribal belts are prone to malaria. The Health Department and the NGOs have taken lot of preventive measures. We have held training camps, where people were taught how to destroy the wastage of their houses. We have also provided mosquito nets and medicines to the tribals," Patra said.