Delay in Dengue test reports leading to panic among patients, majority rush to Pvt hospitals

Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, Oct 4: As the Department of Health Services fails to cope up with the increasing number of patients, suspected to be  suffering from deadly Dengue virus in Jammu region, majority of the panic gripped sufferers are rushing out to private hospitals in neighbouring States for getting themselves diagnosed timely and avail the required  treatment.
Unprecedented delay by Government Medical College Hospital Jammu and  other designated hospitals here in providing report of the confirmatory ELISA-IGM test for detection of Dengue,  is forcing the suspected patients to shell out money and get themselves tested in the private hospitals outside the State, where the reports are made available within hours.
Non-availability of kits at Government Hospital Gandhi Nagar as well as Government Hospital Sarwal and limited capacity for conducting confirmatory ELISA -IGM tests at GMC Hospital Jammu are resulting into backlogging of samples and consequent delayed reporting, official sources told the Excelsior.
This further leads to the patients either keep waiting for days together to get the report or move to some private hospitals outside the State for early diagnostic and treatment thereafter, sources added.
Pertinent to mention that for the entire Jammu and its adjoining areas, the facility for conducting confirmatory ELISA-IGM test for Dengue is available only at GMC Hospital Jammu, Gandhi Nagar Hospital and Sarwal Hospital where more than 100 samples are being collected daily from different areas of the region.
However, sources disclosed, no tests are being conducted at Gandhi Nagar Hospital as well as the Sarwal Hospital where kits are not available for the last more than two weeks and one week, respectively.
Non-seriousness of the concerned authorities can be gauged from the fact that a formal request for requirement of test kits was made by the Gandhi Nagar Hospital on September 22, which was followed by a reminder also but the same fell to deaf ears, sources said and added that in Government Hospital Sarwal, no test kits are available since September 26.
As far as GMC Hospital Jammu is concerned, sources said that more than 100 samples are being received daily from suspected Dengue patients but only 20-30 ELISA tests are being conducted in a day because of limited capacity of equipments and staff shortage thus resulting into the backlog.
Under the prevailing situation, the ELISA report of the samples collected from patients are getting delayed from five days to a week, which is a  horrific period  for a person who is  suspected to be suffering from an ailment, which may prove fatal for him if not treated timely.
When contacted, Dr J P Singh, Epidemiologist Jammu Division, claimed that there was no shortage of kits at the designated hospitals and the tests were being conducted regularly.
“Total 1314 samples have been collected so far from entire Jammu division and 248 of them were detected positive while 756 were negative and the report in 310 cases is awaited,” he said and added that all necessary arrangements were at  place for treatment of patients and also to tackle the rush.
However, sources said that hundreds of Dengue patients are presently undergoing treatment at private hospitals outside the State after they were detected positive in NS1 test but then asked by the Government run hospitals in Jammu to keep waiting for days together to get confirmatory ELISA test report.
The Department of Health Services has no data of such patients.