Death toll on rise as four more infants die in drought-hit Thar

Published January 13, 2016
Hospitals across Thar have reported more than 150 children who have been admitted for treatment of various illnesses. - File photo by author
Hospitals across Thar have reported more than 150 children who have been admitted for treatment of various illnesses. - File photo by author

MITHI: At least four more infants lost their lives in the drought-hit Thar desert on Tuesday, raising the death toll to 45 in only 12 days, due to the outbreak of waterborne diseases and malnutrition among residents.

Two newborns died near Kaloi Town while another passed away in the remote village of Badal Junejo.

One female infant, Tadoori, hailing from Gujhri village lost her life at Civil Hospital Mithi.

Both government and private hospitals across Thar have reported more than 150 children who have been admitted for treatment of various illnesses.

Also read: Thar: Drought or disaster?

The grief-stricken parents of the little patients in Islamkot, Nagarparkar, Chachro and other towns, while talking to media, complained against the shortage of medical facilities and proper medication.

They demanded for proper teams of doctors to be sent to their far-flung villages for vaccination of their children and child-bearing women against the viral diseases that have disseminated in the region.

Commissioner Mirpurkhas division Shafiq Ahmed Mehsir visited various villages of Mithi and Diplo Talukas and expressed concern over the poor performance of the health department and lady health workers in particular.

Members of the civil society including Partab Shivani, Zahida Detho, Abdul Karim Bajeer and others, while talking to Dawn.com, demanded that the government make concerted efforts to improve the health, water and other issues of the district.

The death toll in drought-hit Thar has been on the rise since the start of this month, as malnutrition and water-borne diseases have prevailed in the region.

Read more: Seven more children die in Thar, drought toll rises to 34

Earlier on Saturday, Provincial food minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah claimed that the Sindh government was "fully committed to provide maximum facilities" in the health units of the drought-hit desert.

Talking to journalists, he said that hospitals and health units would be given "top priority" by the five-member committee formed by the Sindh government.

The Thar Development Authority, envisaged and drafted by the Sindh government earlier after the deaths of the children in 2014, would be formed soon to develop proper infrastructure and civic facilities in the district and improve living standards of residents, he said.

Read more: Development authority of Thar planned

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