Waterborne diseases dog valley denizens

Kathmandu, July 12:

The valley has been facing several outbreaks of waterborne diseases, including acute gastroenteritis, since April.

According to the Epidemiology and Diseases Control Division (EDCD), over 3,339 cases of gastroenteritis were reported in the valley from April 15 to July 10.

Out of the patients, 185 were confirmed as having cholera and five deaths were reported. The record is based on the number of patients in the Kanti Children Hospital, Patan Hospital, Bhaktapur Hospital, Nepal Medical College and Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital.

Gastroenteritis is an illness with symptoms of abdominal pain and cramps, fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and loss of appetite that is chiefly caused by contaminated water.

A survey on water quality of the valley, conducted by the Central Laboratory, Kirtipur, showed that water quality is deteriorating in the valley since April this year. In April-May, 28 per cent of water in the valley was found undrinkable, in May-June 39 per cent of water was found unsafe for drinking and the percentage of water unsafe for drinking rose to 72 in

June-July. “After studying the report, we consulted with the Nepal Water

Supply Corporation (NWSC). The quality of water has improved of late,” said Dr Bindeshwar Prasad Yadav, focal point for diseases and outbreak control at the EDCD.

Speaking at an interaction held by the Environment and Public Health Organisation (ENPHO), today, he said, “We hope that the situation will improve further in a week,” he said.

Rajiv Joshi of the NWSC said, “Water gets contaminated due to the old network of pipelines.”

Yadav called on the people to be aware of their health status. “Water should be boiled and chlorinated and people should exercise caution while eating outside.”