Act now, fast

Reports of deaths from diarrhea in Jajarkot and neighboring districts are continuing to pour in despite the mobilization of medicines and medics. That the authorities have not been able to contain the epidemic is evident from the rising death toll and with thousands residing in the districts suffering from diarrhea and cholera. Although the medical assistance is in the vicinity with ample stocks of medical supplies and health workers including doctors the epidemic is continuing to take precious human lives. Since diarrhea and cholera are water—borne diseases most of the cases in these districts can be attributed to lack of access to safe drinking water and also basic hygiene. They could also be the result of eating contaminated food stuffs. The health workers involved in the rescue efforts and containing the diseases should now devise more effective strategies for now it is seen that their efforts have so far proved to be ineffective as the continuing casualties show. Now with reported cholera cases also in the vicinity, it is all the more reason for worry, and the health workers should now take this into consideration for this disease could pose further threats of a more serious dimension.

In the short term it is essential to provide immediate access to treatment to those suffering from these diseases. For this the mobilization of medics and medicines should be

further intensified. Some of the patients reside in very remote areas which are difficult to reach. Efforts should be made to provide them too with immediate treatment and to go to all lengths to ensure that this is possible. This could mean providing more medics who are on heightened alert. Also there should be arrangements made to make available safe drinking water and food. As both are curable diseases provided treatment is provided on time, it is a tragedy that people are continuing to die from the diseases. Meanwhile, in the long term it should be realized

that poverty is one of the major reasons for people falling victims to diseases like diarrhea and cholera. Therefore, it stands to reason that poverty alleviation along with providing basic health facilities should receive due priority in all future development plans.

The slogans such as “Health for All” are now beginning to sound hollow with epidemics like the present one. The government alone should not come in for criticisms, the past governments too had

done very little for the people’s health. There are

numerous NGOs and INGOs also said to be working in the health sector. Their involvement in dealing with this epidemic are so far negligible. Since the private sector too could play a major role in dealing the with the diarrhea and cholera outbreak it is now for them to act with a sense of urgency so that together with the government endeavors their participation in containing the disease and providing the necessary treatment to those affected could

avert further tragic deaths. As for now, a nationwide campaign should be carried out towards this end on a war footing considering the heavy toll that the diarrhea outbreak is causing.

Utter apathy

Deaths in road mishap are but tragic incidents that bring sorrow to the bereaved families.

More than that the society at large too feels the

pinch as to why such tragedies could not have been avoided. There may be many reasons for accidents taking place that kill many and maim thousands

others. But, when it comes to a school bus meeting an accident, the cause of concern is magnified by many times. And, such sad incidents seem to taking place at regular intervals. The parents and guardians of school-going children are always in a tense mood till their wards return home safely. Many schools seem to miss their responsibilities in that they are more interested in making profit by running crowded buses to and from school. The convenience and safety of the small children are thrown to the wind.

In the most recent accident in Bhaktapur, 23 school children traveling by the school bus were injured. This is traumatic on the children even if they suffer minor injuries. But, where does the role of the school concerned stand? Moreover, where are

the authorities concerned that oversee the educational sector? Isn’t it their responsibility to monitor the transportation services that the schools provide?