Rs 4.5 million for diarrhoea-hit

KATHMANDU: A Geneva-based humanitarian agency has expressed serious concern about the diarrhoea and cholera outbreak in some hill districts in the mid- and far-western regions of Nepal.

Issuing a report on Thursday, Action by Churches Together International, said the first case of diarrhoea was reported in Rokaya Gaon of Jajarkot district on May 3. “The epidemic has now spread to 18 districts - Achham, Baitadi, Bajura, Bajhang, Dadeldhura, Dailekh, Dang, Dolpa, Doti, Jajarkot, Jumla, Kalikot, Kanchanpur, Pyuthan, Rolpa, Rukum, Salyan and Surkhet,” stated the report. According to a UNICEF report, around one lakh families of 100 VDCs have been affected.

ACT, a global alliance of churches and related agencies working to save lives and support communities in emergencies worldwide, has approved the use of $59,637 from its Rapid Response Fund and has sent the amount to LWF Nepal to combat the epidemic. The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches and The Lutheran World Federation in Switzerland.

It is estimated that 16,407 people are suffering from diarrhoea in the nine most affected districts of mid- and far- western Nepal. According to media reports, the death toll has reached over 200. The death toll in Jajarkot alone, which is a neighbouring district of LWF Nepal working area, has reached 143. The deaths are mainly attributed to lack of clean drinking water, poor sanitation and hygiene, lack of medicine, nutrition and health personnel. Availability of water and latrine coverage is low in the affected areas.

“Access to all affected areas remains a challenge, as most of the areas are remote and accessible only by up to three days of walk. This has hindered access for

distribution of supplies to the households and medical assistance, with many patients dying before getting any treatment. A majority of the population in affected villages is suffering from diarrhoea,” read the report.