Diarrhoea outbreak claims lives of 9 children, 2 adults within 10 days

[ Junroi Mamai ]

PONGKONG/LONGLIANG, 29 Jul: Deaths of nine children aged between 3 and 7 years have been reported from Pongkong village in Lazu block of Tirap district, following an outbreak of diarrhoea and dysentery, from 17 to 25 July.

Apart from the children, two adults have also died of diarrhoea in Longliang village.

These two villages are located in remote areas bordering Myanmar. Cases of water-borne diseases and related deaths in some areas of Tirap and Longding districts have been prevalent for many years.

Tirap DMO (i/c) Dr Obang Taggu on Friday informed this daily that no new deaths have been reported in the past 48 hours.

Dr Taggu said that there has been a sudden outbreak of water-borne diseases, coupled with common viral fever, in Pongkong and Longliang villages, which affected children and adults alike.

“On Wednesday, a rapid response team of the medical department of Khonsa visited Pongkong village and created awareness on water-borne diseases. The team also collected stool and water samples for testing, and the results will be out within a week,” he informed.

Dr Taggu cited the lack of proper nutrition among children as one of the factors responsible for infant mortality in the area, “besides lack of hygiene and the practice of open defecation in the area.”

“We have on earlier occasions also visited the villages and organised medical camps where we found that around 10 to 20 adults complained of diarrhoea, while older people (80 years and above) suffered from viral flu and respiratory problems,” he added.

The DMO further informed that tuberculosis is also prevalent among children and adults in Lazu area.