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MITHI: Malnutrition and outbreak of disease claimed lives of five more children on Wednesday at the Civil Hospital Mithi, raising the total number of deaths to 17 in three days.

Bereaved parents and those of the ailing children said that there were absolutely no facilities in any of the hospitals of the district, including the Civil Hospital.

Wailing parents said that they were being forced to buy medicines as there was an acute shortage of medicines in the hospitals due to the non-release of funds to the hospitals.

Here it is pertinent to mention that the non-release of funds to the Civil Hospital Mithi had mounted the debt to Rs 9.6 million which the government owes to medical stores and petrol pumps.

There was also the dearth of ambulances for shifting the seriously sick patients to Hyderabad, Karachi or other cities.

A source in the Health Department said that around 512 infants died during 2017 at six different health facilities of the district.

Dr Shaikh Tanweer Ahmed of Health and Nutrition Society expressed concerns over the unabated deaths of infants and pregnant women in this desert region.

He called upon the Sindh government to immediately release funds so that medicines could be provided to patients.

Health experts deplored the prevailing situation in the rural areas which was worse due to the unavailability of the drugs even of minor ailments.

Published in Dawn, January 4th, 2018