UPPER DIR, Jan 28: Forty-seven children have died of measles and pneumonia in Kohistan area of Upper Dir district since Jan 15, according to district health officer Dr Abdul Wakeel.

Mr Wakeel told Dawn on Monday that the deaths from measles and pneumonia were reported in Thal, Kumrat and Lamoti areas, which were mostly inaccessible due to heavy snowfall. He feared that the number of deaths could be more than what they had reported. “We’re facing problems in ascertaining the exact number of deaths due to heavy snowfall, which has covered the entire mountainous area,” he said. Dr Wakeel said health workers had already been in the areas affected by the epidemic outbreak of measles and pneumonia to control the situation. “More than 1,500 children are being vaccinated against measles and pneumonia. We’ve been working hard and are hopeful of the early management of the crisis,” he said. The DHO said children in Kohistan suffered from malnutrition and therefore, a nutrition centre was being established at Thal to address the problem in line with the health department’s directions. He also said a separate ward had been formed at District Headquarters Hospital, Upper Dir to efficiently handle the situation.

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