Neglect, high medical expenses weigh heavy on poor families in Lucknow’s Shivajipuram area

LUCKNOW Members of over 50 underprivileged families in the interiors of Shivajipuram area in Indira Nagar’s Sector 14 have been unable to go to work of late as majority of them are either ill or have been attending to their kin who are unwell. Most of these people are diagnosed with dengue, malaria or chikungunya after being tested at private clinics.

Most of the women in these families work as domestic help in nearby colonies and their husbands are employed as daily labourers.

“When we go to any public health care facility, we are asked to get diagnostic tests done at private labs outside. We can’t afford expensive lab tests. My husband and son have dengue and are at home,” lamented Renu Devi, 30, a resident of the area.

“One or two members in each family here are unwell and have been diagnosed with dengue or chikunguniya. My seven-month-old grandson was diagnosed with vector-borne disease and we brought him back from the death bed after spending 5-6k,” said Sanju Soni, another local.

“I got tested for dengue at a private lab, which cost me around 1,700. I am still unwell for 10 days and don’t have enough money for another lab test. When I visited Lohia hospital, they asked us to get tested from outside,” said Geeta Sahini, 35, who works as a house help and lives in a hut with an untidy area around, ideal for mosquito breeding.

Another woman, Savita Devi, said fogging is done in the area sometimes but poor people are often neglected at hospitals. “Dengue requires multiple tests, but it’s difficult to afford these expenses,” she added.

When chief medical officer (Lucknow) Manoj Agarwal was informed about the issues on Thursday, he assured of all help and promised to send a medical team to the area.