All the family members of Sher Sarki, a poor haliya of Budhinanda Municipality, have fallen ill and are struggling for life due to lack of treatment expenses in Bajura.

Hikmat Odd, a local, said that Sher's family members have been left in the lurch for a want of treatment expenses.

Eight-year-old Ishwora Sarki, Sher's daughter, is afflicted with kala-azar, and the other members are also suffering from fever. Sher said he did not have money to buy medicines because all his family members had fallen ill. His Wife Kamala, sons Sasta and Eak are suffering from fever and stomach ailment.

Ishwora is being treated in Kolti Primary Health Centre. Dr Raju Raj Jaisi at the health centre said that Ishwora is suffering from Kaka-azar and other family members too were ill. He added that the other family members did not test for Kala-azar.

Sher is mentally ill and his wife has been running the family with her daily wages. Another local, Man Bir Sarki, said that the family had nothing to make ends meet. He said that Sher has nothing except a small thatched hut. Sher said he had taken his wife and sons to the health post for treatment, but brought them back as he did not have money to buy medicines.

He has requested all to support him for the treatment of his family members.

The haliya community at Pipaldali is facing various problems. As many as 48 families live in the community.

Acute food crisis has hit the community hard.

Kala-azar has been seen in the Tarai and Bajura also. The disease was seen in the hilly districts of late. Symptoms such as fever, weight loss, and impact on liver, among other body parts, are seen in patients. Health workers said that the patients could die if they did not receive treatment on time.

A 13-year-old girl Bhagya Shahi of Swamikartik Rural Municipality died due to kala-azar during treatment in Kathmandu-based Kanti Bal Hospital a year ago.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 2, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.