Diarrhoea toll at 365: Maoists

KATHMANDU: Convenor of Integrated Health Campaign of Unified CPN-Maoist, Giriraj Mani Pokharel, today claimed that as many as 365 people had died of diarrhoea in 12 affected districts.

“As the information by the IHC teams from the epidemic-afflicted villages is pouring in, the toll could exceed the figure,” Pokharel told mediapersons at a meet organised at the Maoist parliamentary party office today.

He accused the government of not cooperating with his party to tackle the problem. “The government should seek the support of the main opposition party to tame the outbreak without further delay,” he said. He said the party had deployed 1,300 volunteers in Jajarkot, 936 in Rukum, 200 in Dolpa and 150 in Kalikot district.

“The attitude of the government is to neglect the people who voted for the Maoists,” said Dinanath Sharma, UCPN-Maoist spokesperson. Maoist Constituent Assembly member Lokendra Bista claimed that the toll had exceeded 500 if the locals were to be believed. According to the ICH data, 18 people have died in Achham, six in Bajura, eight in Bajhang, nine in Baitadi, six in Dadeldhura, six in Doti, 68 in Rukum, 202 in Jajarkot, eight in Dolpa, 14 in Surkhet, three in Kalikot and 17 in Dailekh.

Pokharel said his party was coordinating with UN agencies and had been regularly informing the prime minister about the developments. He said long-term plans to tackle the disease should be devised and uninterrupted supply of safe drinking water should be

ensured. The former health minister said lack of inter-ministry

coordination and failure to intervene on time were responsible for the loss of lives. He said it was

insufficient to distribute 10 kg of rice and 1 kg of salt to the diarrhoea-hit families.

Epidemic under control: Health minister

BANKE: Minister for Health and Population Umakanta Chaudhari said the distribution of medicine and mobilisation of paramedics in the diarrhoea-hit areas had brought the epidemic under control.

Speaking at a press meet organised by Press Union Banke, Minister Chaudhari, who was on his way back to the Capital from a three-day visit to the affected areas, claimed some of the government-run camps were without patients. “It shows the epidemic has now been controlled.” The minister said timely efforts of the preceding government could have saved many lives. He said skilled doctors had been deployed in the regions while some were standing by in Surkhet for immediate deployment. Minister Chaudhari said 231 persons had died of the disease in Jajarkot, Rukum, Dailekh, Accham and Surkhet districts as of yesterday. The health workers saved the lives of 38,000 people, he added. He said the medical team had approached households to treat patients who were unable to visit the camps. — HNS

Four fresh diarrhoeal deaths in Bajhang, Doti

Jagadish Rokaya

BAJHANG: One person died to diarrhoea in Bajhang today, taking the toll to the disease to nine. The deceased is Ram Chandra Joshi (60) of Matela VDC-6.

The other eight persons had died in Kotbhairab, Koirolakot and Naulali VDCs earlier. According to health officials, five VDCs of the district have been worst hit by the epidemic. After there were reports of shortage of medicine in the villages, a meeting was held in the district headquarters today. Authorities urged different government and INGOs for the assistance in providing medicine to the diarrhoea-hit people.

According to District Hospital, 55 patients are undergoing treatment in the hospital while 700 diarrhoea patients of worst hit VDCs have already got the treatment.

CDO Rajesh Poudel said they asked higher authorities to provide additional medicines as the disease was still claiming lives.

Meanwhile, the spreading diarrhoea claimed three lives in Doti district within the past few days. According to District Public Health Office, Kanjari Nepali (2) and Dholi Nepali (8) of Chhapali VDC 2 and Devi BK (63) of Mudabhara VDC-4 have died of the disease. Including this, the diarrhea death has reached nine in the district.

Meanwhile, local residents in almost all wards of Chhapali VDC have been affected by the disease for over a week. According to Kishor Shrestha of DPHO, they had died of the disease three or four days ago. However, the death were confirmed today only due to geographical remoteness of the VDCs. From the second week of June, residents in Barbata, Banalekh, Tikhatar, Durgamandau, Simachaur and Dipayal Silgudhi Municipally have been affected by the disease.