Though late, the South-West monsoon [the main source of Rain for this area] finally have been kind enough to my native state, Kerala.
Until this week, Newspapers were saying that this was the weakest monsoon in recent memory with a 43 percent deficit in rainfall in the first 7 weeks of the season. Power blackouts started [as the major source of Power here is Hydro-electric projects] and fear of failed crops were looming large.
This week everything changed. The sky started pouring and pouring. Even as I type, I can hear the wonderful sound of rain. Newspapers started talking about flash floods and landslips. Let us hope the monsoon will wipe off the rainfall deficit in quick time.
Rain or no Rain,Chikungunya epidemic continues relentlessly. In some families, almost all members are getting affected. I had an opportunity to visit a small town 15 kms away. I went there on invitation of a local Club. They wanted me to give a health education class about chikungunya fever.
When I reached there, the people were not in a mood to listen to a talk. They wanted prescription for medicines so that they can recover fast. Most of them were manual labourers, and the persistent joint pain and swellings were preventing them from working. Some wanted preventive medicines to protect them from the virus. I was helpless. There is no fast cure.The joint pains may last for weeks to months. During that period, they will have to continue taking anti-inflammatory drugs. Also, there is no preventive medicine or vaccine yet. I asked them to take measures to reduce breeding of Aedes mosquito. I also asked them to isolate the patient inside a mosquito net during the time of fever. At that time, maximum number of viruses are there in patient's blood and mosquito bite can easily spread the illness.
My team saw more than 50 patients. Some free medicines were distributed, but nobody was satisfied. As we drove back, my thoughts were on the enormity of physical and economic damage this virus had brought on the society, especially for the poor.