Army’s help sought to treat ailing villagers

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KATHMANDU, APR 18 – The Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) has sought support from the Nepal Army to contain the disease in Jajarkot that has killed 21 people so far.

In a letter dispatched to the Director General of Military Operations on Friday, Dr Baburam Marasini, director of the EDCD, requested the NA to send medical teams to the outbreak zone in the district.

NA spokesperson Jagadish Chandra Pokhrel said a small team has already been deployed to the site and “we are ever ready to send more medics as required”. “We have done our own analysis and will send another team soon if necessary,” said Pokhrel. Dr Pranaya Karki of the Army has been stationed at Talegaun, one of the worst hit Village Development Committees.

Defence Secretary Ishwori Prasad Poudel is on the four-member central coordination committee that the Cabinet formed under Chief Secretary Leela Mani Paudyal on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the government has sought support from the World Health Organization to deliver a large consignment of tami-flu tablets to deal with the disease in the remote district.

The WHO has pledged to deliver 100,000 tablets of tami-flu that is administered to patients with H1N1 influenza, popularly known as swine flu.

Dr Marasini said 60,000 tami-flu tablets have already been delivered to the division. He said additional medicines will arrive soon. “Five thousand tablets will be sent to Nepalgunj on Saturday for distribution in Jajarkot,” he said.

Suspected to be swine flu, the disease has severely affected Paink, Sakla, Nayabada, Talegaun, Rami Danda, Rokayagaun, Laha, Kortang and Majkot VDCs. The local people have been complaining of symptoms such as fever and common cold.

Test results to be out in 72 hours

The National Public Health Laboratory on Friday said it would take at least 72 hours before the disease affecting Jajrkot is ascertained.

Seven blood samples sent to Kathmandu for test from Jajarkot arrived on Thursday and their examination has begun. “We are conducting a typhoid test,” said NPHL Director Dr Geeta Shakya.

Eight more samples of blood and throat swabs sent for typhoid and influenza examination reached the NPHL on Friday. Earlier, among the 12 throat swabs taken from patients, three tested positive for influenza H1N1.