18 children die of pneumonia in Chitral village



About 18 children have died of pneumonia in the remote Khot village in Torkhow tehsil of the district, officials and local people said on Tuesday.


District Health Officer (DHO) Chitral Dr Israrullah confirmed that 15 children had died of pneumonia in February and March.The ages of the deceased children ranged from one month to a year. The locals said that around one dozen children were suffering from pneumonia in the nearby Rich village.


Some of the children who died of pneumonia were identified as Mohsina, Ruqaya, Sanaur Rehman, Mutahir, Sania, Shehnaz, Fazlur Rehman and Noor Qayyum. The locals said that the doctor posted at the Basic Health Unit in Khot had not showed up for duty in the last four months.


A Rural Health Centre located in Shahgram village located some 10 kilometer away from Khot is being run by the Aga Khan Heath Services under public-private partnership.When contacted, an official from the Aga Khan Health Services, Rahimullah Khan, said they provided blankets and medicines to 800 children even though the area didn’t fall under their jurisdiction.


The locals said the condition of the BHUs had not improved even under the public-private partnership. They said that the temperature in the remote and mountainous Torkhow area had plummeted to zero degrees centigrade and there was acute shortage of health facilities there.


Independent sources said that the epidemic spread due to absence of proper medical facilities in Khot.A resident of Khot said the government had provided no health facility in the village. He said some NGOs were working there to provide treatment to the locals.Meanwhile, the DHO, Dr Israrullah, said that he had sent a team of doctors and medicine to the area. “We are taking all possible measures to control the situation,” he added.

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