Arunachal diarrhoea

Itanagar, Aug 01: At least 11 children have died of diarrhoea at a village under Lazu circle in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh.

The dead children were aged between three and 10 years.

The development has been confirmed by district medical officer (DMO) in-charge for Tirap in Arunachal Pradesh – Dr Obang Taggu.

Confirming diarrhoea outbreak, he said that the cases were reported during the last two weeks ‘randomly’.

“Right now, the situation is under control,” the Tirap DMO added.

He said that consumption of contaminated water and open defecation, apparently in forests, bushes, and nearby water bodies in the hilly areas – as most people of the scattered village used to collect running water for their daily use – might be the reason behind the spread of the disease in the village.

Pongkong village is located about 9 km from Lazu.

Dr Taggu, however, said the exact reason was yet to be ascertained adding that stool from the affected persons and water samples have been sent for laboratory testing to a private facility at Khonsa in Arunachal Pradesh and Dibrugarh in Assam for further analysis.

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The DMO in-charge also said, “Because of their superstitious belief that some evil spirit entered their village and spread the disease in their village, the villagers are not cooperating with the medical team and our department. This is the main reason why so many people have died.” 

“In case of dehydration, diarrhoea, people should come early to our hospital. But they are reluctant to come to the hospital…Stigma, and superstitious belief holds them back from moving the health facilities for treatment,” Dr. Taggu said while stressing the pressing need to create awareness among the villagers.

Meanwhile, the Tirap district administration in Arunachal Pradesh has deployed a medical team at Lazu for constant examination and treatment of those affected.

Further, ambulances have been kept on stand-by to lift the serious patients from affected Pongkong and nearby villages to the district hospital at Khonsa in Arunachal Pradesh.

The medical team has been instructed to stay at the village community hall and monitor the situation closely and be available 24×7 for any emergency requirements.