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Top Bahadur Rayamajhi
Minister, Ministry of Local Development 


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Preventive measures underway to control waterborne diseases Print E-mail
Posted by Administrator   
Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Kathmandu: Following the continuous early monsoon rains, the government has started conducting training to control waterborne diseases in disease-prone districts. Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) has already sent necessary medicines in various districts and has been conducting training for a month, Dr. Saroj Prasad Rajendra, director at the EDCD said.

“I have instructed all regional directors to take early preventive measures and consult with the centre if they needed more help," she said. Every year, with the onset of monsoon, patients with waterborne disease like jaundice, typhoid, diarrhoea and cholera flood in the hospitals. "Keeping this in mind, every year the EDCD has focused on preventive and control measures," Dr. Rajendra said. Parbat, Tanahun and some other districts responded that they were all set to cope with water borne diseases, the EDCD said. Dr. Rajendra further said that dengue prevention training for nurses and doctors was also underway in high-risk areas like Chitwan, Butwal and Bhairahawa. World Health Organization is providing a platelet separation machine to the EDCD within the next week, she informed.
As contaminated water was the main cause behind spread of the waterborne disease, Dr. Rajendra claimed that the Health Ministry alone could not fight against it. With the initiation of Health Ministry, the authorities at the Metropolis and Water Supply Division should also work seriously, she said. Teku Hospital said that some cholera patients were already recorded in the hospital this year. If the Metropolis did not educate the people about sanitation of Kathmandu and the Water Supply Division did not supply healthy water, cholera epidemic might spread in Kathmandu, she said.
"Previously, the pressure of the waterborne disease patients would be so high that we used to be compelled to make them sleep on the floor and wait for treatment," virologist Dr. Basudev Pandey of Teku Hospital said. National Health Education Information and Communication Centre under Department of Health Services said that it was also airing the message— wash your hands using soap before and after eating, drink only pure and boiled water and the likes—in several media which also helped increase the public awareness.
According to Health Information Management System under the Department of Health Services, a total of 71,000 people had suffered from diarrhoea across the nation last year. Diarrhoea epidemic claimed a number of lives in the far and mid-west regions in 2009. After the incidence, the government had adopted special epidemic control strategy with the onset of monsoon.
Medics and health authorities said that the government should assure safe drinking water to minimize waterborne diseases. The health sector alone cannot deal with its possible outbreak. Public awareness was another major factor, they said.

Source: The Rising Nepal, May 8, 2011

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