Seminar focuses on fight against kala-azar

Mahotari, November 15:

A day-long seminar on the dangers of kala-azar and the safety measures against it was held in Jaleshwor today. The programme was jointly organised by the Department of Health Service, Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, the WHO and the Health Concern Journalist Society.

Thirteen district in Terai region have been affected by the epidemic of Kalaazar that is caused by the bite of sand-fly (bhusuna) called sandraf.

Speaking at the programme, the chief of District Public Health Office, Dr Murari Prasad Upadhaya, said: “Although many programmes are held in the district to control the epidemic of kala-azar, the number of the people suffering from the epidemic has not yet decreased.”

But the number of kala-azar patients seems to be less in the villages that have houses where cowsheds are at a considerable distance from the house, Dr Upadhaya said.

The treatment of kala-azar was started at the district hospital 13 years ago, Dr Dwarika Prasad Shah, said, adding, during the period of 13 years more than 3,000 patients of kala-azar had been treated at the hospital.

According to Shah, the deadly disease had finished off whole families in some cases. Compared to others places, the people from Dom, Mushahar, Dusadh and Mushalman villages more affected from the disease, Shah added.

Bijaya Kumar Gupta of Jaleshwor municipality said that insecticides were being spread often in the rural areas as a measure of precaution.

“Kala-azar is posing a serious challenge for the people of Mahotari,” Dashrath Bhandari, former DDC chairman, said. He highlighted on the need for collective effort to bring put in place safeguard measures against kala-azar.

According to a recent data, almost 60 lakh people are affected by kala-azar in the world.

However, among them, at least 15-20 lakh people are affected by a new manifestation of the disease every year, according to an NGO.