Call to declare 16 districts epidemic zone

KATHMANDU: Experts and stakeholders today demanded that the government declare the diarrhoea-hit areas as an 'epidemic zone' in order to urgently tame the outbreak.

Speaking at an interaction programme, Dr Kedar Narshing KC, president, Nepal Medical Association, called on the government to facilitate the posting of health personnel in the remote villages. He also accused the parties of getting entangled in political fights, ignoring the crisis in the mid-western region.

"Mere 6.5 per cent allocation in the budget will fail to ensure the declared free health services," viewed KC, stressing on the need for a 10 per cent budget pie. Promising support to control the outbreak, he urged the government to seek the assistance of local people in the bid. Dr KC said women health volunteers needed to be empowered in such a situation.

UCPN-M leader Janardan Sharma said the government was busy seeking arms from, rather than making efforts to tame the outbreak. "The government should provide integrated treatment and relief packages to the patients and victims" he demanded. He said the Maoist combatants were helping out in the affected areas. "The state should declare 16 districts as 'epidemic zone' and seek the assistance of international community to combat the menace," said rights activist Sudip Pathak.

Toilets to be built

KATHMANDU: Pranay Kumar Upadhyay, senior public health officer at Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, said the health minister called a sectorial ministerial meeting on Friday to gather support in controlling the disease.

"The death rate has been controlled, but new cases have not ceased," said Upadhyay, adding that a campaign to build toilets in the affected areas would be carried out for sustainable solution to the problem. He said antibiotic and saline water were supplied in plenty in the affected areas and cholera treatment protocol had been adopted. — HNS

Sanitation lacking

KATHMANDU: A probe team of National Health Research Council has found that the main cause of the outbreak is contaminated water and lack of nutrition. Dr Gagananda Bhandari, epidemiologist at NHRC, said the samples contained components of cholera. Most of the people suffering are males in the age group of 15 to 45 years. — HNS