Due to the rising number of dengue cases in the city, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has decided to provide cost-free platelets to the underprivileged.
The rationale behind the decision taken at the council meeting on Monday was the realisation that dengue cases had gone up exponentially, and the municipal corporation’s precautionary measures were not sufficient to tackle them.
The council members felt that if the situation got out of hand, the patients may find it hard to afford expensive treatment in advanced cases.
Speaking to the Bangalore Mirror, Dr Pankaj Singhai, senior consultant, Internal Medicines, Manipal Hospitals, said, “There are three stages of dengue and almost 80-85 per cent of patients can be treated without any transfusion. Platelets are required only in the later stage.”
The civic body came under the scanner by health experts and citizens, who claimed it failed to cater to the public health needs. The Chief Health Officer also pointed out that fogging was not carried out properly and requested the Palike to first spread awareness about dengue.
Council members asserted that the BBMP commissioner had to take necessary steps to ensure proper availability of platelets – just saying that the availability of platelets at hospitals can be checked on the drug controller’s website wasn’t enough.
BBMP Commissioner Manjunatha Prasad assured that the civic body will make platelets accessible to underprivileged people.
Stating a contrasting point of view, Dr. B.D. Prasad, a public health expert from the city, told Bangalore Mirror, “The best way to tackle communicable diseases is to prevent it from spreading rather than looking after cures. Also free platelets won’t be of much help as it (platelets) only falls due to viral infection and beside dengue, in normal viral fever also platelets count could go down, but generally only few patients reach the critical phase where a transfusion if required (sic).”