Medical team off for Jajarkot

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health and Population Monday dispatched a 97-member emergency medical team with paramedics and necessary medicines to diarrhoea-hit mid-western region.

The move comes as a response to Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal’s directions to concerned departments to work in tandem to combat the diarrhoeal epidemic in Jajarkot, Rukum and other adjoining districts in the mid-western development region.

PM Nepal on Sunday urged officials to dispatch health personnel, along with essential medicines to the districts badly hit by diarrhoeal outbreak in a coordinated manner.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Dr Dirgha Singh Bom, secretary at the Ministry of Health and Population, said a jumbo team of 97 doctors and paramedics, along with required medicines and water purifiers, has left Kathmandu for Jajarkot and Rukum. “We are doing the needful to contain the outbreak at the earliest,” Dr Bom added.

Meanwhile, a team of epidemiologist sent by the ministry have collected sample of potable water from different VDCs of Jajarkot, Rukum and surrounding districts to ascertain whether the diarrhoea was protozoal, bacterial or viral. “Though extreme level of coliform bacteria has been found in water sample, we are still trying to identify other causes,” said Dr Gita Shakya, a health expert, at the Ministry.

Dr Sudha Sharma, acting secretary at the Ministry, maintained that the government would declare emergency in the diarrhoea-hit areas if the disease continued to pose threat to neighbouring districts. “As it is a bacterial diarrhoea, it can spread to other areas in a short span of time,” she added.

Meanwhile, a chopper flying to Jajarkot with health personnel and medicines today landed in Surkhet airport due to adverse weather condition in Jajarkot.

According to the Ministry of Health and Population, doctors, paramedics and medical teams of Nepali Army, NGOs and INGOs are working in war footing to treat the patients. The government has blamed lack of awareness about sanitation and hygienic practices as the causes behind the outbreak.