Over 35 taken ill with diarrhoea and dysentery in MahottariMore than 35 people from the Musahar community have been taken ill since Sunday evening in the flood affected Bhangaha village of Mohattari district.
More than 35 people from the Musahar community have been taken ill since Sunday evening in the flood affected Bhangaha village of Mohattari district.
According to the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) under the Ministry of Health, people have complained of diarrhoea and dysentery.
“A team of health professionals has been deployed in the site,” said Dr Bhim Acharya, director at the EDCD. “Stool samples will be brought to the National Public Health Laboratory to test for Cholera.”
Dr Acharya said there were no reports of such outbreaks in other districts.
In view of the possible outbreak of diseases in the flood affected districts, the ministry on Monday deployed four teams of experts to Biratnagar, Rautahat, Janakpur and Nepalgunj to coordinate the delivery of health services in the affected areas.
“As chances of disease outbreak are high, we are taking all possible measures to control the spread,” said Dr Acharya. Despite assurances from the ministry, the situation on the ground remains bleak. In Janakpur, people are forced to drink contaminated water.
Rami Devi Mukhiya and her family in Janakapur Sub-Metropolitan City have been forced to drink contaminated water since the floods swept through her settlement. With foul smell emanating from nearby her makeshift shelter, she is worried about her family contacting water-borne and vector-borne diseases. Mukhiya said the authorities have not provided them with clean drinking water. “We have no option but to rely on this tube-well,” said Mukhia.
Dr Jamun Prasad Singh of the Janakpur Zonal Hospital warns that newborns and children are at higher risk of infection. “There is a surge in the number of patients admitted for jaundice, typhoid and dysentery,” said Dr Singh. “The roads to hospital are cut-off in rural areas. We are handling many cases through phone calls.”
What makes the situation more precarious is that the district public health offices lack stocks of essential medicines. “We have asked the EDCD to immediately send us the drugs,” said Ram Gulam Karna, public health officer of Janakpur.
They said that water/food-borne epidemics are likely to occur 24 hours after natural disasters like floods, urging the government to set up medical camps in accessible areas.
(With inputs from district correspondents)