Govt hopes to tame epidemic in a month

KATHMANDU: The government today said that it would take next one-month time to bring the diarrhoeal epidemic in Jajarkot and its neighbouring districts under control owing to difficult terrain and remoteness.

“There is slim chance of reining the epidemic in immediate future as the government is yet to dispatch the required number of health personnel and essential medicines to all the diarrhoea-hit areas of far-flung Mid Western districts due to the geographical hazards,” reasoned Dr Dirgha Singh Bom, secretary at Ministry of Health and Population.

The diarrhoea-hit districts don’t have good access of air and road transportation facilities. “The ministry is working in a coordinated fashion to promptly dispatch health personnel with essential medical supplies in those districts. Lack of public awareness and unhygienic eating habits of locals

are adding fuel to fire,”

Dr Bom added.

Dr Bishworaj Khanal, acting director at Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, echoed similar version, adding that the crisis was aggravated as majority of people in Jajarkot did not have access to potable drinking water.

“People are vulnerable to communicable disease as they have no options but to depend on rivulets for drinking water which is already contaminated with coliform bacteria, especially during the monsoon,” he added.

Dr Govinda Prasad Ojha, director general at Department of Health, maintained that they had toughened the measures to dispatch health personnel and medicines in diarrhoea-hit areas. Two health experts, along with medicines, set out for Jajarkot today only.

Dr Laxmi Raman Ban, director at National Health Education and Information Centre, said they had begun raising public awareness about the disease by disseminating personal hygiene and sanitation guidelines through Radio Nepal.