80 elephantiasis patients in Dhading village

Salyantar (Dhading), June 15:

Over 80 people of Salyantar VDC area have been suffering from elephantiasis. These people do not know where to seek treatment for the disease.

“There are patients of elephantiasis in most of the households in ward numbers 2, 3 and 4 of the VDC,” says Jamuna Kandel, who has been working as a woman health volunteer in the VDC for the past 17 years.

According to the Dhading District Public Health Office (DPHO), cases of elephantiasis were found only in Salyantar VDC of Dhading district.

Says a patient, Lal Babu Darai, of Jahir village of the VDC: “Many years ago, I was going to Kathmandu carrying a load for a merchant. I got fever when I reached Charajgephedi. My legs started swelling later.”

Most of the villagers recently realised that they have been suffering from elephantiasis. “We used to believe that divine curse causes the disease. We performed puja time and again to drive away the curse, but in vain,” says Lal Bahadur. These poor and illiterate people cannot afford to treat the disease.

“We have selected volunteers to distribute medicines for the disease,” says Ram Narayan Pandit, elephantiasis control officer at the Dhading DPHO. However, locals say agencies concerned have not shown concern for controlling the disease.