August 29, 2017
Contaminated environment caused by floodwaters is posing serious health challenges to hundreds of people across various flood-hit regions of Nepal.
Viral infections, fever, common cold, diarrhoea, headache and skin diseases are seen in common among the public of Tarai, Rautahat, Parsa, Dhading, Sindhuli, Bara and other districts.
In Saptari, around 25 people are suffering from diarrhea. Jageshwor Raya, a local, informed that people in the region are falling sick because of drinking contaminated water from tubes and are also not getting on-field medical assistance.
An official from Siraha District Health Office informed that health facilities in the district are witnessing around 50 viral fever cases every day. The Bardiya District Hospital is also witnessing more than 50 patients at its emergency unit.
Meanwhile, the number of patient visits to the Sindhuli District Hospital has also increased from 40 (earlier) to more than 300 patients (currently).
This situation exists despite the efforts of concerned district health officials and local authorities in running medical camps in the flood-hit areas.
According to the health officials, recent floods have contaminated almost all the water sources thus giving rise to public health issues. Most of the sick are those who have been living in temporary shelters after the floods destroyed their houses, they informed.
Dr Udaya Narayan Singh of Narayani Sub-regional Hospital informed that nearly 80 percent of flood survivors were diagnosed with some form of viral illness at the medical camps run by the hospital at the flood-affected areas recently.
“Of the total number of patients reaching hospital, around 20 per cent are children,” said Dr Krishna Lal Upreti at District Hospital, Dhading.
Dr Lochan Karki, who was involved in one of the medical camps in a flood-affected village, termed water contamination, poor hygiene and exposure to elements as the major causes of disease outbreak.
Floods wiped out three key irrigation projects in Saptari causing a damage to property worth Rs 440 million.
According to Chandra Irrigation Management Division Office Saptari, Koshi Pump Irrigation System, Chandra Irrigation System and Koshi Western Distribution Irrigation System were the projects that suffered the damage.
Chief of the Office Prasunna Mishra informed that they could not carry out the repair works due to budget shortage.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and Development (MoAD) announced a subsidy package worth Rs 1.25 billion for the flood-hit farmers of Tarai region.
Under the same package, MoAD has also announced Rs 250,000 assistance for the construction of a food market in every flood-hit district to ensure market access to the agricultural produce.
The government also announced Rs 50,000 assistance per hectare to the farmers, who suffered losses in fishery, to purchase fishlings and reconstruct their ponds.