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Gastro outbreak in remote Arunachal area
ITANAGAR, FEB 19 (AGENCIES):
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Published on 20 Feb. 2009 12:02 AM IST
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Even as gastroenteritis and cholera reportedly killed ten children at Pipsorang circle under Kurung Kumey district of Arunachal Pradesh during the past two days, health authorities here are still ignorant about the outbreak of the diseases. Director of Health Services (DHS) Dr T Basar Thursday said the department had not received any such information from the district medical officer (DMO) so far and directed him Thursday morning to initiate inquiry into the matter and report immediately. “I have convened a meeting today with my officers and asked them to keep themselves ready to move to the area with medicines and Para medical staff if there is report of any outbreak of gastroenteritis and cholera,” he disclosed. He said he had also requested the civil aviation department to provide chopper if the situation demands. Meanwhile, medical officer of Tali Dr Sorang Taben, in a statement, said the epidemic was spreading like wild fire in all villages of the circle and several villagers had fled into the jungles to save themselves. Dr Taben also cautioned that if effective measures were not taken immediately, the toll could increase. As Pipsorang is literally cut off from rest of the state due to inhospitable terrain, the place is devoid of sufficient medicines, doctors and paramedics. Though local MLA of the area Takam Sorang had donated Rs one lakh for procurement of medicines, which have already been procured, the state government has not provided SOS sorties so that the doctors and Para medical staff could visit the area to take stock of the situation and provide immediate medical relief, Dr Taben said. “If preventive measures are not taken there will be huge loss of lives,” Dr Taben lamented and pleaded to the government to arrange helicopter sortie to airlift the medicines and medical staff, who are ready to rush to the spot immediately. On the other hand, the DHS claimed that the report of outbreak of epidemics might not be true as Dr Taben “might have been pressurised by the local people to spread such rumours in order to get more Central funds for the area under the health sector.” “I have directed the DMO to find out the truth and if no such outbreak of epidemic is reported in the area, he should call for an explanation from the MO,” Dr Basar added.

 
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