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| Last Updated:16/05/2014

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Ganjam rural areas hit by water-borne diseases

The Hindu, 16 May 2014


BERHAMPUR: Due to dearth of safe drinking water in the summer, water-borne diseases like diarrhoea and gastro-enteritis have been reported in a big way from rural areas of Ganjam, the home district of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.


The diseases have taken almost epidemic turn in three villages of Khallikote block. Death of a four-year-old girl has been reported from this area.


The Additional District Medical Officer (ADMO) in-charge of public health, Lalit Mohan Rath, said as per official reports 38 serious and over 25 comparatively less serious diarrhoea cases had been reported from the three villages. One death due to diarrhoea had been reported from Bania village.


Unofficial sources claim that the number of persons affected by diarrhoea or gastro-enteritis in the three villages -- Bania, Komanda and Langal -- was over 100. A medical team has been sent to the area to be stationed there, the ADMO said.


According to Dr Rath, over 30 of the affected persons have been treated in Khallikote government hospital. Reports of diarrhoea cases have also come from Deogaon village under Kavisuryanagar block.


One child of the village is reported to have died on May 13. A medical team would be sent to the village to investigate the cause of death of the child.


“The child seems to have died due to ignorance of parents and relatives. He had been admitted in Kodala hospital two days back and the doctor had referred the case to MKCG Medical College in Berhampur. But the parents resorted to sorcery to cure the child rather than opting for medical help and the child died,” said the ADMO.


Non-availability of safe drinking water was the root cause for the rise in water-borne diseases. The medical team found around 10 leakages in the drinking water pipeline at Komanda village. Langal village has no piped drinking water system and its inhabitants depend on wells, ponds or tubewells. The drinking water supplied at Bania village was also suspected to be contaminated.


Hence, the medical authorities have requested the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) Department to immediately ensure supply of safe drinking water in these villages.


All water sources in the villages are being disinfected and the people are being made aware of the water pollution and the need for safe drinking water, said Dr Rath.