Hepatitis-A has broken out at Wathu village in Shopian district; five persons have tested positive. Samples of 150 persons have been also taken for the testing. This is not for the first time in recent times that Hepatitis-A has broken out in any South Kashmir village.
According to reports, earlier some cases were reported from Ganowpora area in the same district. Few months back two children had died due to Hepatitis-A at Turka Tachloo village in south Kashmir. The medical experts have been saying that consuming of unsafe water is the main cause for Hepatitis-A in the villages.
The health department should take more steps so that the further spread of the disease is stopped immediately. Those infected should get immediate treatment.
If there is need for hospitalisation in some cases, it should be done. The people should co-operate with the medical teams and listen to them and strictly follow their guidelines.
More testing needs to be not only in the affected village but in the other adjoining areas also. The medical teams must visit the affected areas on regular basis for the time being so that that the affected people continue to get treatment and advice, and rest of the population is educated about using only safe water for drinking.
Use of unboiled water should be avoided till safe water is not made available. Awareness must be created among the people how to remain safe from Hepatitis A. While the medical teams will do their job, providing of safe water is the responsibility Jal Shakti Department.
No compromise should be made on this front. Reports quoting the villagers of Wathu say that there is some problem in the filtration plant. They alleged that nothing was done even as the matter was taken up with the concerned officials several times.
They demand supply of safe water through tankers for the time being. There is nothing wrong in their demand. All necessary steps should be taken to keep the water safe.
The filtration of water and other required procedures must be adopted before the drinking water is supplied to people for consumption.
It is not about the affected village only, an exercise should be carried in other areas also to find out whether the water being supplied is safe or not. There are complaints of unsafe water from some other areas also.
The authorities must look into the matter. If the complaints are true then immediate corrective measure should be taken so that people do not get affected on health front.