‘Garbage row poses disease threat’

KATHMANDU: Dr Saroj Prasad Rajendra, director, Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Diseases Hospital, today appealed to Okharpauwa-based struggle committees not to disrupt garbage disposal at the land-fill site at the time of diarrhoeal diseases.

Talking to The Himalayan Times, she said July and August are the months when the diarrhoeal diseases break out. Dr Rajendra warned of an outbreak in Kathmandu valley if preventive measures are not taken on time. “If the garbage continues to pile up, contaminating water and food stuffs, an epidemic outbreak will be a sure thing,” she claimed.

The hospital has not recorded any case of cholera this year but it would be dangerous if it appears. The doctor said cholera causes quick deaths if not treated on time.

“Matters of public concern are being politicised,” she said, opining that the government needs to adopt strong measures for the sustainable solution of the garbage problem in the capital city. “If the garbage problem is not solved, a Jajarkot case could be replicated in Kathmandu.”

The hospital has medicines enough for the treatment of 15,000 patients at a time. The hospital records 35 diarrhoea cases on a daily basis.

Pranay Kumar Upadhyay, senior public health officer, Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, said the disruption of garbage collection has threatened the outbreak of diarrhoeal diseases mostly in the slums of Kathmandu. He said Rapid Response Teams are ready to be deployed in cases of emergency. Upadhyay said they had asked hospitals to be ready to handle the outbreak.