One may wonder if diarrhea, too, could deserve a ‘pandemic’ status
One or the other instances of health related issues have been making the world at large obliged to get alert and anxious. There was a global threat of SARS quite sometime back. And an overwhelming fear about bird flu, the worry about which seems to be alleviated recently, while the concern shall not be given up to the
extent that it may invite carelessness, given the probable potentiality of the disease to cause a global pandemic. Nevertheless, the latest concern is about the swine flu.
It’s often discussed in the media that the most vulnerable ones to the global pandemic, like have been discussed above, are the people of the poor and politically instable nations.
Thus one would be astonished if our country, Nepal, could not be designated as a perfect example of poverty and political instability. Given this long standing trait of Nepal, the spread of the global pandemic as such causing a significant obliteration to the common lives would become an obvious incidence here.
“Are we prepared for the global pandemic like swine flu, or even the threat of bird flu, for that matter?” is a question that would perceptibly raises many doubts and worries among the Nepali masses for the time being.
But let alone these global pandemic making global headlines. At this time, it would be worthwhile if we just ponder over the pandemic called Diarrhea, which is making a widespread coverage in the national Medias, with some occasional international coverage.
The not-so-significant international exposure over the diarrhea epidemic in Nepal could, however, be well understood as the global commonsense that the disease like diarrhea may not deserve a ‘pandemic’ status especially at the time when the medical science has made a great leap forward.
Diarrhea is an easily tackled and treatable disease, given the modern day medical advancement. But, unfortunately, it is not so for Nepal. Not at least for the poor, down trodden, less privileged people living in the rural regions, if not for those privileged lots residing in the urban regions and its vicinities.
Given the worrying fact, the diarrhea, which has amazingly taken a form of an epidemic in the mid-western regions of Nepal, has already taken hundreds of lives. Furthermore, the death toll due to diarrhea in these regions is still counting.
The ‘determined’ effort put by the government on disseminating the medical workers and medicines in the affected regions seem to be glaringly scarce, at least while observing the increasing number of the people succumbing to this ‘easily curable disease.’
Glancing at the figures, the districts mostly affected by the spanking epidemic are Jajarkot and Rukum. While the slightly less affected ones include, Dolpa, Dadeldhura Rolpa Surkhet, Dailekh, Achham, Salyan, Doti, Kanchanpur, Pyuthan, Bajura, and so on. The disease is worried to have begun spreading beyond these regions too.
According to the health ministry, medicine worth Rs 29.5 million has already been sent out to the affected regions. According to the government’s records, the epidemic so far has claimed 321 lives since its start in April. But the unrecorded number of deaths could be well above the official data.
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal has just returned home from him five—day long visit to the neighboring country India. Alongside the flamboyantly significant agreement on the renewed trade treaty with India, his India visit may, hopefully, have other positive implications for the benefit of the Nepali people down the road. But the ‘minor’ problem at home, i.e. the people dying from diarrhea,
seems to have been underestimated as ever.
PM insistence was resounding when he said that no one would have to die in this country of diarrhoea and cholera in the future, at the time when he was in the mid-western regions of the country to scrutinize the plights of the victims of diarrhea.
But the death toll due to the epidemic continue to rise unabated even now, despite the pm’s confident statement after his return from India that the ‘epidemic is gradually coming under control.’ While the government could not yet have come up with a tangible answer on how the disease turned into an epidemic, one may wonder that how many more people have to lose their lives due to epidemic before it would absolutely come under control.
And the common lots at the affected regions, many of whom have already lost their loved ones due to diarrhea, while others are on the verge of losing, including their own, may only have a option for the time being owing to the government’s assurance of controlling the epidemic, i.e. to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
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