CHITRAL: The outbreak of typhoid and dysentery has been reported from Oveer valley of Upper Chitral where hundreds of people including women and children have contracted either of the two diseases during the last couple of weeks.
Advocate Islam Akbaruddin, the chairman of Terichmir Area Development Organisation told Dawn by telephone here on Saturday that more people were contracting the illness with each passing day and situation was dangerous in the absence of primary healthcare facilities.
He said that the basic health unit of the valley of 12,000 people was without doctor, paramedical staff and medicines where literally a single pill of paracetamol was not available. “In such a grim situation, how one can expect availability of lifesaving drugs here,” he questioned.
Mr Akbaruddin said that very few people could afford to take their patients to the district headquarters hospital and the rest of them were doing self-medication or using local medicinal plants or food against the diseases.
He said that although no death was caused due to the diseases yet the situation could take an ugly turn anytime as many of the patients were in precarious condition.
Mr Akbaruddin demanded of the chief minister to take cognisance of the situation and order the high-ups of health department to dispatch teams of doctors with medicines to the affected villages of Shongush, Barum, Riri, Nichhagh, Muzhen, Usan and Kherchum.
He also demanded of the government to post medical officer in the basic health unit of the valley and provide lifesaving drugs to it in sufficient quantity because the replenishment of medicines on emergency basis was not possible due to the remoteness of the area.
Dr Haiderul Mulk, the district health officer, when contacted, expressed his ignorance about the situation in the valley and said that due to the extended vacations of Eidul Fitr, he had not been reported about it.
He said that relevant and required medicines of the diseases would be sent to the valley when the chairman of the local support organisation approached him while medical team would be sent to the area soon after the vacations to inquire about the situation.
Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2019