Odisha: Vedanta's health crusade in Lanjigarh: No malaria death for 2nd consecutive year
Report by Odisha Diary bureau, Lanjigarh: What was once considered as an uphill task has become a reality now. Continuous efforts and dedication has made it come true. Not a single case of death due to malaria has been reported in the Lanjigarh block of the district in the past two years. Moreover, the cases of pediatric malaria have gone down by around 50% over the past few years.
Joint efforts by the district medical unit and Vedanta Aluminium at Lanjigarh have been able to script this success story. According to Dr. Sabita Swain, Chief Medical Officer, Vedanta Aluminium Limited, “The medical unit from Vedanta Aluminum and the district medical team have been working relentlessly on spreading awareness about the ill-effects of mosquito biting and the benefits of keeping their surroundings clean. This has resulted in a sharp drop in cases of malaria amidst children and pregnant women.”
According to experts, the block is a part of the malaria endemic zone and most adults here carry traces of malaria parasite in their blood. Thus, reduction in pediatric malaria cases is a critical indicator of a better future as it confirms that the future generation will not have to live with the parasite being a permanent feature in their blood stream.
"Zero malaria death in the block is a great achievement. The awareness programmes taken up jointly by the health department and Vedanta Aluminium have been able to deliver good results," says Dr. Swapna Sarit, Block Medical Officer, Lanjigarh.
The malaria awareness campaign launched by Vedanta Aluminium has played a vital role in achieving the feat in the block, and it is well supported by the Vedanta Hospital at Lanjigarh. The hospital has an outreach of 50 kms across Kalahandi and Rayagada districts and provides state-of-art facilities to tribal and local communities of the region. Moreover, each family from the core villages has been provided health cards to maintain health history. Over 5000 such cards have been distributed so far in 34 villages.
With a vision to change the ground realities related to health issues in Kalahandi district, which is infamous for malnourishment, poverty, malaria deaths and poor medical infrastructure, the Vedanta Hospital aims at providing quality healthcare facility to all and educate people about the necessity of maintaining hygiene and sanitation. The hospital also conducts regular health surveys to obtain health history of every family in and around Lanjigarh which has been quite helpful in better treatment of people of the area. More than 129,000 patients have been treated at the hospital since December 2010.