Nepal | November 17, 2019

Minister Yadav rules out health emergency


Himalayan News Service

Claims number of dengue patients decreasing

Kathmandu, September 18

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health and Population Upendra Yadav today told the House of Representatives that there was no need to declare health emergency, as the number of dengue infected people had been decreasing of late.

Yadav said dengue was a global problem as there was no medicine or vaccine to treat or control the disease.

“The most effective method to contain the outbreak is to search and destroy larvae that breed dengue causing mosquitoes,” he said.  Containing dengue outbreak has become a major challenge even for the developed countries, Yadav said. He added that dengue was listed by WHO as one of the most serious diseases.

Yadav said his ministry was discouraging the use of dengue kits as they were ineffective in diagnosing the disease.

The health ministry decided to shift patients undergoing treatment at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital to other hospitals of Kathmandu, such as TU Teaching, Bir and Civil hospitals, as Sukraraj hospital was struggling hard to treat the increasing number of patients.

Yadav said the federal government had provided more than 60 million rupees to local levels to help them contain the outbreak and had also mobilised teams to search and destroy larvae that bred dengue causing mosquitoes.

The government has also sent monitoring teams to the affected areas.

According to Yadav, 5,095 people were suffering from dengue in 58 districts, while six patients had succumbed to the disease so far.

Every year 390 million people contract dengue worldwide and more than 20,000 die of the disease.

Lawmakers Sujata Pariyar, Khagaraj Adhikari, Ram Bahadur Bista, Dilendra Prasad Badu, Aman Lal Modi, Pushpa Bhusal, Prem Suwal, Parvata DC Chaudhary, Dev Prasad Timilsina, Mina Subba, Jeevan Ram Shrestha, Birodh Khatiwada, Krishna Gopal Shrestha, Rajendra Kumar KC and Navina Lama criticised DPM Yadav ‘for his failure’ to control the outbreak and provide better care to  those suffering from it. Some lawmakers wondered why Yadav informed the House about the government’s effort to contain the outbreak of the disease only after four months.

Ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmaker Krishna Gopal Shrestha wondered if Yadav and minister of state for health had ever visited Teku hospital where the number of patients seeking treatment was increasing by the minute. Lawmakers criticised Yadav for frequenting foreign countries while dengue was spreading across the country.

Another NCP lawmaker Birodh Khatiwada wondered who the people should turn to since the government had failed to control dengue outbreak.

Nepali Congress lawmaker Pushpa Bhusal said the health ministry was not in a position to control dengue outbreak because it had scrapped the post of vector control inspectors who were responsible for carrying out campaign to search and destroy larvae.

NCP lawmaker Jeevan Ram Shrestha said the government better have a special plan to tackle dengue outbreak in Kathmandu.

A version of this article appears in print on September 19, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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