Superstition among diarrhoea patients

ACHHAM: More than 14 people died of diarrhoea due to superstitious beliefs and lack of awareness in Achham district this year. Pabi Kami of Chudi VDC-8 was taken to a shaman when she contracted diarrhoea after consuming wild mushrooms. Later she died due to dehydration.

People of the rural areas, still with traditional and superstitious beliefs, take patients to shamans instead of health posts. According to the District Public Health Post, out of the 17 deaths due to diarrhoea, only three had died in the course of treatment. The majority had opted for shamans instead of going to health posts. Chief doctor at the district hospital, Pursottam Sedai, said, “Except three, all the other diarrhoea patients died in their homes.’’

The hospital informed that three patients, who had died in the hospital, were brought there at the last moment. The hospital source said that they had died due to kidney failure. People are very superstitious and they do not provide drinking water to diarrhoea patients.

Officer at Achham hospital, Sailendra Shrestha, informed that they were launching awareness programmes along with providing treatment to patients. “We have also requested shamans to refer the diarrhoea patients to health posts,” he added.

Another hospital source informed that the disease had spread due to the lack of safe drinking water and sanitation. The source said that the disease was under control in most of the VDCs out of the 37 hit with diarrhoea in the district. According to the source, 16,000 people were affected with the disease.

Meanwhile, the district hospital informed that they had mobilised health workers, volunteers of different organisations and activists of political parties to control the disease.

“We are determined to save the lives of people and control the disease,” the source said.