.........JAJPUR: THE remote village of Nagada in Jajpur district that hit headlines due to malnutrition deaths of children last year, is back in news. This time, deaths of children due to malaria have been reported.
According to reports, two children of the hilltop village have died of malaria within a month and many others are affected by the vector-borne disease. The deceased are Dudura, the three-month-old son of Jaina Pradhan, and Madhu, the four-year-old son of Rama Pradhan. While Dudura died on May 23, Madhu succumbed to the disease on April 23. The other affected children of the village are undergoing treatment at a hospital in Jajpur Road. Of them, the condition of four-year-old son of Jampa Pradhan is critical.Initially, the affected children were admitted to Sukinda Hospital, about 25 km from Nagada village. Doctors at Sukinda referred them to Jajpur Road Area Hospital after their condition deteriorated.
The district administration has confirmed the deaths. “The affected children are undergoing treatment and the district administration is keeping an eye on the situation,” said Collector Ranjan Kumar Das. A medical team has visited Nagada village to find out the reason behind the spread of the disease.
The deaths have panicked the villagers of Nagada, which is mostly dominated by Juanga tribals. The village was in the news in January last year following the death of 19 children in three months due to malnutrition and lack of healthcare facilities. After much hue and cry, the Government instituted a task force to ensure such cases do not recur.
Healthcare centres were introduced in the foothills where the malnourished children were provided supplementary diet. Other facilities like provision of ration under public distribution system, construction of three anganwadi buildings, drinking water facility and livelihood programmes were also started soon after.
Meanwhile, in March, the Government inaugurated a motorable road to the hilltop village. The road was non-motorable until then and even health workers could not reach the place. This has now helped the team of doctors reach the village.