Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss on Saturday urged the State Government to immediately take up renovation and modernisation of the 80-year-old Communicable Diseases Hospital (CDH) in Tondiarpet in north Chennai.
After a visit to the cholera wards in the hospital, Anbumani told journalists that though the doctors in the CDH had been successful in controlling the cholera outbreak in the city post-rains, the hospital in itself was in dire need of upgradation.
The CDH has treated a total of 41 cases of cholera from November 1 and as on date there are still 25 cholera-afflicted patients in the hospital, the hospital director, Dr B Janardanan, said today.
Most of these cases were reported from waterlogged areas like Tondiarpet, Korukkupet, Pulianthope and Vyasarpadi, all in north Chennai, he said.
Dr Janardanan said that currently there were 155 patients of which 114 cases were related to other water-borne diseases like diarrhea, and 41 cases were of cholera.
Following heavy rains that lashed the city on October 27, several cases of water-borne diseases were reported to the hospital. On November 3 alone, as many as 67 cases were reported, he said, adding that the number of admissions was on the decline thereafter.
With the second spell of heavy rains last week, the number of cases reported each day remained static with 30 to 40 patients a day.
Dr Janardanan said from November 1 till yesterday, a total of 460 cases were reported. Of this, 155 were admitted as inpatients, while the rest were discharged after treatment. Re-hydration therapy and administration of antibiotics were the line of treatment, he added.
Appreciating the CDH doctors, Anbumani added that the diligence shown by the doctors and other medical staff, despite limited facilities had saved many from cholera this year, but the hospital is very old and needs upgradation. "We (the Central Government) are ready to help, but the State Government has to put forth a plan first," he said.
As CDH was the only referral hospital for cholera in the state, Anbumani said separate communicable diseases wing should be started in all Government Hospitals to control water-borne diseases during such rainy period.
The Minister also called for improving the infrastructure such as storm water drains and sewerage systems. Director in-charge of the hospital Dr Janardhanan also spoke.