Kerala floods: Fever, depression ail people at shelters, finds team of doctors from Maharashtra

“They are shattered. Floods have played havoc with their lives and there is a sense of gloom among them,” State Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan said

Those affected by the devastating floods in Kerala are “shattered” and have a “sense of gloom”, said State Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan, who is leading a team of doctors from Pune and Mumbai to the flood-hit state. Fever, headache and skin infections were among the immediate problems the team of 90 doctors had found among those hit by the deluge.

The natural calamity has taken a toll on people’s lives, Mahajan told The Indian Express. “They are shattered. Floods have played havoc with their lives and there is a sense of gloom among them,” he said.  Mahajan’s team has been assigned three affected districts, Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta and Thrissur, by the Kerala government.

The minister is currently at Pathanamthitta with a team of 30 doctors, while others have been sent to the other two districts. “They have waded in the floodwaters for more than 20-30 hours and several have fungal infections. Their houses are flooded and furniture can be seen submerged in water. It is a dismal sight,” he said.

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The team of doctors, from J J Hospital in Mumbai and B J Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital in Pune, have been visiting various villages and tehsil areas where relief and shelter camps have been put up to conduct basic health and medical check-ups.

Dr Srinivas Chavan, who is leading the team of doctors from J J Hospital and is currently at Pathanamthitta district, said while rains have abated, people were still in shelter camps and most were suffering from headaches and bodyaches.

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Some people are also being counselled, said Dr Gajanan Bharti, medical officer from Sassoon General Hospital and team leader of 26 doctors from Pune, some of whom are stationed at Paravur tehsil in Ernakulam district. “We are visiting shelter camps at schools and colleges. People have started moving out and visiting their homes to clean the place. They return to the camps at night. While basic health check-up is underway, we are also trying to
counsel some people who are feeling depressed and dejected,” he said.

Mahajan said while the team of doctors had adequate stock of medicines, another consignment would also be sent to Kerala in a day or two. “We will stay here, visit the camps for a week and take stock of the situation, in case there
is an outbreak of any disease. Plan B is also ready and another team of doctors can replace the present one if required,” he added.

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