10 people dead after water-borne disease in Tharparkar

MITHI: On Wednesday, lives of two women and eight more children were taken by the outbreak of the water borne and the viral diseases in the drought hit Tharparkar district.

Cold weather along with the malnutrition and water borne diseases teamed up with the altogether which caused the children to lose their lives.

The overall death toll has risen to 41 in Tharparkar since the drought hit in the beginning of this month.

A minor Rajab Rahimoon lost his life in Civil Hospital Mithi while an infant Ishwer Lal died in Nagarparkar.

The commissioner Mirpurkhas Shafiq Ahmed Mehsar maintained that child marriages, malnutrition, lack of the healthcare facilities were still the main issues of the area.

The district might be declared as ‘calamity-hit’ in the light the report prepared by seven member committee comprising the officials and notables of the area including journalists.

One of the major reasons behind recurrence of newborn deaths in Tharparkar is the failure of dispensaries and basic health units to provide adequate treatment to the ailing mothers and their babies, compelling them to rush to Mithi civil hospital, and thereby stretching its already scarce resources to the limit.

In bureaucratic jargon, a government establishment or infrastructure without an SNE will have no budget, no staff, no furniture and other facilities necessary for running it, thus seriously crippling its capacity to function.

The PPHI caters to needs of 21 per cent of Thar area through 49 facilities, 31 basic health units (BHUs) and 18 dispensaries, whose budgets are with PPHI, while the health department manages six rural health centers (RHCs), four taluka hospitals and Mithi civil hospital.

He claimed that 92 of the facilities under the health department were being run with medicines received in aid. “I seriously doubt if these facilities are fully functional,” said a source in the health department.

Except for 85 new ones, he admitted, there could be a large number of such experimental dispensaries in Tharparkar.

Tharparkar has been a victim of official neglect for decades. Figures about doctors’ availability indicate that 64 doctors were appointed on contract basis in 2014 for two years in BS-17/18, who included chest specialists, pediatricians, anesthetists, gynecologists.

About 350 deaths of newborns because of malnutrition were reported in Mithi hospital last year.

Mr Rahujo conceded that PPHI must see whether last year’s or latest deaths among newborns were from the areas under its cover.