Family members hold their children suffering from measles and admitted at a hospital. — Photo by AP/File

UPPER DIR:  A health crisis in Khyber Pakthunkwa’s (KP’s) Upper district continues unabated, with the death toll due to an outbreak of measles and pneumonia resulting in 47 deaths over the last two weeks.

In order to control the epidemics, a special unit has been set up in the Dir District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) along with mobile health teams, which have been dispatched to the region.

Upper Dir District Health Officer Dr Abdul Wakeel confirmed on Monday that the death toll due to pneumonia and measles has now risen to 47 at the very least. He added, however, that the number of deaths may be higher as many areas still remain accessible due to harsh weather conditions.

Dr Wakeel explained that the health teams have been dispatched to the affected areas and have been accompanied by World Health Organisation (WHO) and other organisations’ staff to monitor the health crisis.

“So far around 1,400 children have been vaccinated while door-to-door vaccination is still continuing,” he added.

Sources in the provincial health department said that the affected children were also experiencing severe malnutrition, which need to be taken care of on an urgent basis.

The KP health department, along with the WHO and other UN bodies are focusing on handling the crisis in the worst-hit areas of Thall, Komrat and Lamoti.