Access to health center can prevent deaths from common diseases
KATHMANDU, July 16: Bringing patients to health centers in time is the main challenge to prevent the deaths from common diseases like diarrhea, respiratory problems and others, the ministry of Health and Population said.
Adverse geography, poor health infrastructures, limited manpower at health centers and lack of awareness among people in the remote parts of the country are responsible for many preventable deaths, according to the Epidemiology and disease Control Division (EDCD) under Department of Health Services (DHS).
According to the division, out of the total deaths during the diarrheal outbreak in several parts of Doti district recently, only one patient died during treatment at hospital. “All others died before they could be brought to a health center,” Dr GD Thakur, chief of EDCD, said, adding, “The major challenge, therefore, is to bring patients to the health centers.”
The EDCD said that altogether five people have died and 250 others suffering from diarrhea related problems have been admitted at health centers. Among the deceased, three have tested positive for cholera. The stool samples of the patients were analyzed at the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL).
The officials at EDCD claimed that they are in close contact with local health officials and the District Natural Disaster Management committee headed by chief district officer (CDO).
The office has sent 8,000 chlorine tablets to the district and with additional medicinal supplied being sent from Nepalgunj. Dr Thakur, the EDCD chief, said that health workers have been organizing satellite health camps in remote parts for backward and underprivileged communities.
The office has already suspended leaves of all health workers for the monsoon season and dispatched consignments of medicines to health centers. The office has also made it a point to stock its buffer stores with sufficient amount of medicines.
Despite all the efforts the reports of deaths from common diseases have been trickling in from across the country. “Our utmost efforts notwithstanding, we have been unable to stop deaths caused by waterborne disease,” he said. “That is because several other factors contribute to these problems.”
Dr Thakur attributed the spread of such diseases to the consumption of contaminated food and water. The office has urged the officials responsible to supply drinking water. “Eighty-five percent of the diseases can be controlled if we can provide safe drinking water or changed people´s habit of consuming food and water,” he added.
Meanwhile, altogether 257 patients with diarrheal infections have received treatment at Sukraraj Tropical and Diseae Control Hospital, Kathmandu in the past one month. Among them three were found have been infected with cholera.