Central team visits Prakasam
A team of medical experts will come out with a plan in six to eight weeks to effectively address the issues of fluorosis and associated health problems, according to G.S. Toteja, senior deputy director general (nutrition), Indian Council of Medical Research, who is also the head of the Central team.
Holding a brainstorming session with Ongole MP Y.V. Subba Reddy, District Collector Sujata Sharma and other officials on the disease in the district, he said: “The action plan will include early screening for fluorosis and chronic kidney disease (CKD).”
The MP said 423 CKD patients had died in the last two years and wanted the team to come out with a lasting solution to the serious health issue.
Screening early for CKD
P. Ravi Raju, Vice Chancellor of Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences and a member of the team, said: “Even while focusing on the causative factors, our effort will be on screening of patients early for CKD and cure them before it becomes full blown requiring dialysis.”
A.K. Susheela, executive director, Fluorosis Research and Rural Development, New Delhi, said patients would be screened early for fluorosis in Ongole and in other places, including Chirala and Markapur for fluorosis.
T. Gangadhar, unit head, Department of Nephrology, Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences, gave an account of a study undertaken in Neredupalli in P.C. Palli mandal.
The team members visited some of the parts of fluoride-affected areas in Chimakurthi and Dharmavaram. Dr. Toteja advised people to consume only surface water.
49 mandals affected
The situation was grave as 1,132 habitations in 49 of the 56 mandals were affected by fluoride content in water, the Collector said. As provision of surface water posed a big problem to the entire population in the district, she sought Central assistance for putting up desalination plants.