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Feb 22, 2010

Outbreak news in "Nepalese Media"


This is a common news headline in Nepalese daily newspaper like "Unidentified disease claims dozen lives in Bhaktapur". The question is what does the word "unidentified" means to the media and general mass. Referring to The Oxford dictionary, it means "nameless, anonymous, faceless, unnamed, unknown, undisclosed, unrevealed, mysterious" 

Nepalnews.com on Feb 10, 2010  reported, "At least 11 persons have died in the past one month of an illness with similar symptoms in a Tamang village in Chagu Narayan VDC, Bhaktapur located in the north-east of the Kathmandu valley". Also reports that "panic has gripped the villagers after young people started dying hours after showing symptoms of illness. Everyone who died in the past month showed similar symptoms before death. They complained of headache, temperature and dizziness and oozed out fizz from their mouth and died within hours. The villagers have neither been taking the patients to hospital nor making any efforts for medical treatment. Instead, they resorted to traditional healing including employing traditional healers like Dhamis and Jhankris. VDC secretary of Chagu Narayan informed the public health office of the illness. None of the health professionals have reached the village as of Tuesday. Officials have said, doctors are going to the hospital on Wednesday. Those who died in the past month due to the disease include Rakesh Tamang, 27, Kumar Tamang, 21, Risimaya Tamang, 29, Bila Tamang, 32, and Poornimaya Tamang, 42."
 
Note:
 
There are few serious questions that stands out and has to be debated among health policy makers, senior health adminstrators, civil society, local leaders, teachers and other stakeholders.
  1. Why is there such carrelessness on the part of district public health office in responding to this outbreak?
  2. Could it be that the negligence is related to discrimantory attitude on the part of responsible health personnels?
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Anuj in Himalayas

Hi i am connecting disqus with my blog for healthy interaction and open dialogue