DHANGADHI, May 17: Several villages in Bajura district have been hit by a diarrhea outbreak. Two local villagers, including a woman, have died of diarrhea here in the past week.
The perennial health problem caused by diarrhea has been exacerbated by the lack of sufficient health staff.
As some health posts lack sufficient staffers, diarrhea-hit villagers have to wait for hours to get treatment. Dila Ram Bhatta, the acting chief of District Public Health Office says the outbreak has affected people in more than 12 villages. According to Bhatta, diarrhea has killed Juna BK, of Dahakot, and Jagatti Rokaya, of Jugada, in the last week.
“At least 20 diarrhea patients come to the district hospital every day and the number has been increasing,” Bhatta said. According to him, Pandusen, Martaddi, Dahakot, Jugada, Budhiganga, Kolti, Wai, Kailashmandau, Kuldevmandau, Bichya and Manakot have been badly affected by the outbreak.
Locals say the shortage of health staffers has made it difficult for them to get treatment in time. Most health posts and sub-health posts in 11 Village Development Committees in Kolti area of Bajura lack human resources.
Several health facilities, including Primary Health Center (PHC) at Kolti, have been running without in-charges. Dr Bishwa Baral, the in-charge of Kolti PHC, has remained out of the district on the pretext of participating in a training program.
Many other health staffers are out of their duty stations despite a decision by the Ministry of Health and Population to not grant them leave during this season. A maternal health worker has been working as a single staffer at Bichya sub-health post for the last one year.
Dila Ram Bhatta, a public health officer, says that Bichya health post has remained without sufficient staffers because not many health workers want to work in remote villages.