Spurt in kala-azar cases in Sarlahi

Sarlahi, June 3:

The number of kala-azar patients is on the rise here. Of the 44 patients admitted to the Tri-Chandra hospital at Malangwa till today, 28 are yet to be transferred to hospital beds. For the first time in 20 years, such a large number of patients have turned up to this hospital in a single day, a source at the hospital said. The hospital has 16 beds. The patients are putting up on hospital floor, benches and other places, said the hospital management committee.

A seven-year-old Sunaina, who travelled a distance of three kilometres from Jhimkhola in the east, has been undergoing treatment for a week, an assistant nurse midwife, Lata Yadav Shrestha, said. As beds are not available, she has been putting up on a bench, Shrestha said.

Three patients were laid on haystack on the side of the hospital corridor and two on benches, she said, adding that patients who had houses nearby were advised to return home and come to hospital for treatment every day.

Indian nationals from border areas have also been pouring in at the hospital. Sonfi Chaudhary, 30-year-old from Donbarsha in Satamadhi district, is among them. “As beds were not available, I have been undergoing treatment on the floor.”

Seven more kala-azar patients are in a critical condition, he said.

A nurse at the district public health office, Laxmi Shrestha, said: “Of Sarlahi district’s 99 VDCs, at least 50 kala-zar patients come from Bagmati, Lakhandehi, Banke and the Jhimkhola embankment area.” A physician at the hospital, Dr Abiram Jha, said: “The hospital should have at least 50 beds.”