Health

In just three years, chikungunya cases in India increased by 390 per cent

Yet, the government spent just 68 per cent of total funds allocated in 2016 to fight vector-borne diseases

 
By Kiran Pandey
Last Updated: Monday 17 July 2017
In 2016, Delhi witnessed its worst chikungunya outbreak in the last 10 years. Credit: Vikas Choudhary / CSE
In 2016, Delhi witnessed its worst chikungunya outbreak in the last 10 years. Credit: Vikas Choudhary / CSE In 2016, Delhi witnessed its worst chikungunya outbreak in the last 10 years. Credit: Vikas Choudhary / CSE

Till May 2017, India has witnessed over 19,113 cases of dengue and chikungunya. The season for such vector-borne diseases peaks in monsoon months and continues till November. Even though outbreak of vector-borne diseases was on the rise in 2016-17, the Centre spent just 68 per cent of funds under the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), shows State of India’s Environment 2017 In Figures. Around Rs 163.48 crore (16,348 lakh) allocated under the NVBDCP was not released and hence, remained unspent.

Credit: State of India's Environment 2017 In Figures

A further analysis of the government data shows that although gap between amount allocated and released has reduced since 2013-14 (the UPA regime), the implementation mechanism seems to have definitely faltered in the financial year 2016-17.

In just three years (2014 to 2016), there has been around 300-400 per cent increase in incidences of chikungunya and 280 per cent increase in incidences of dengue.

Credit: State of India's Environment 2017 In Figures

Over 177,443 people have been the victim of these mosquito-borne diseases in 2016. But despite the worrying trend, the government has failed to exhaust the budget allocated to fight these diseases.

In 2016, Delhi witnessed its worst chikungunya outbreak in the last 10 years, but according to data available till mid-March 2017, Rs 1.69 crore allocated for the programme was not released and thus, remained unspent.

Credit: State of India's Environment 2017 In Figures

The capital city continues to report incidences of vector-borne diseases without any break since January 2017 onwards and deserves attention of both the Centre and the state government.

Karnataka, which reported the maximum number of chikungunya cases (15,552) in 2016, also did not get close to 61 per cent of the fund allocated (Rs 17.59 crore) in 2016-17.

Close to 34 per cent of total allocated fund was unspent in the worst-affected states
 

No of cases

Allocated

Released

Unspent 

Chikungunya

Karnataka

15,552

1,759

683.18

-1075.8

Delhi

12,279

169

0

-169

Maharashtra

7,354

1,320

753.2

-566.8

Dengue

West Bengal

17,702

1,910

1,508.55

-401.45

Punjab

10,475

402

181

-221

Odisha

8,380

10,037

7,190.41

-2846.6

TOTAL

 71,742

15,597

10,316.34

5,280.66

Despite the fact that the socio-economic burden of India due to malaria is being pegged at around Rs 11,640 crore and rising dengue cases costing the country nearly Rs 6,000 crore annually, a recent research has revealed that number of dengue fever cases is much higher and only 0.35 per cent of clinically-diagnosed dengue cases in India are captured by the NVBDCP.

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  • Th above table shows only the releases and unspent amounts. The actual expenditures will be still lower and may be much lower, because in many states, even the funds released are mostly unspent due to apathy and indifference on the part of officials and lack of monitoring by the higher officials and political masters. Even where funds are spent, a good part of them are either wrongly used or misused resulting in much less benefit to the public for whom they are intended. A strong and committed beaurocracy and politicians are the need of the hour. Till then the same situation may prevail. There should be a massive campaign for improving the healthcare delivery mechanism and outcomes from he public and the ngos.

    Posted by: Gonuguntla Kondala Rao | one year ago | Reply