MoH urges caution against choleraContamination of drinking water with sewage through broken pipes is the main reason for cholera spread in the Valley
Contaminated water and food, coupled with poor hygiene, is posing a serious threat of cholera spread in the Valley, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has warned. Of late, Valley hospitals have witnessed a sudden surge in cholera cases.
Issuing a public notice on Thursday, MoH stated that of the total patients who were admitted to 15 different hospitals in the Valley for diarrhoea, Vibrio cholera, a bacterium which causes cholera, was found in stool samples of 142 patients.
All the patients have recovered now after timely medical intervention.
“Contaminated water is found to have been the main reason for the spread of diarrhoea and cholera,” said Bhim Acharya, chief of the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) under MoH.
“The threat of diarrhoea and cholera spread increased during monsoon and post-monsoon season (between June and October),” said Acharya. “The number of reported cases of cholera, however, was high this year compared to the same period last year,” he added. “We have found contamination of drinking water with sewage through broken pipes as the main reason for the spread of cholera. The situation gets worse during rainy season.”
Concerned over the threat of cholera spread, MoH has mobilised teams of health workers and volunteers to monitor drinking water sources and has requested drinking water suppliers, including the Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited, to add adequate amount of chlorine as disinfectant at the source before supplying drinking water to households.
The ministry has also directed its line agencies and departments in all three districts in the Valley to monitor food sold on the streets and test water quality at source level for wells and water sprouts.
“The number of patients visiting hospitals for diarrhoea has gone down in recent days. The cholera cases will also gradually decrease in about a week,” said Acharya.
Experts have urged the general public to drink boiled water.